Melbourne: Roxy Music remake, remodel and reinvent - Thu 16th Aug

Melbourne: Roxy Music remake, remodel and reinvent
16 August 2001

Thank you to Paul Cashmere for sending this review from Melbourne.

When news of a Roxy Music reunion swept earlier this year, quickly followed by an announcement from Brian Eno that he wasn't going to participate, anticipation for the success based on perceived intention was low. As it turned out, that was a good thing, because Roxy Music rocked.

The original core of the band Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson, plus keyboards, violins, killer vocals from Sarah Brown and the all important dancers made this one of the shows of the year.

Roxy Music returned to Melbourne for the first time in more than two decades last night and chose the very first song from the very first album to open the set. "Re-make / Re-model" showcased a Roxy reinvention from the very first song. When the curtains were opened and the Ferry vocal surfaced, it also highlighted Roxy Music as a band with Ferry taking a backseat on piano and Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay being the first bodies you saw. Hard to believe the song is 29 years old.

"Great to be back in Melbourne" announced Ferry at the end of the song and straight into "Street Life". This was NOT going to be a group of old guys reminiscing. Roxy Music were here to rock.

The setlist was made up of a good smidgen of songs from each of the 8 studio albums, with "Ladytron" again from the first album next for show.

Ferry thanked his Aussie support act Mishelle Bradford-Jones before jumping to the end of the catalogue and performing "While My Heart Is Still Beating" from their final album 'Avalon'. There is NO dead wood in the Roxy catalogue, they broke up at their peak just after Avalon in 1982.

The importance of Manzanera's guitar sound to compliment Ferry's suave vocals was blatantly obvious as Phil sliced his way through "Out of the Blue" and violinist Lucy Wilkins then took the spotlight.

Ferry changed from his leather suit into his leisure suit and returned to the stage for the dark "A Song For Europe' and the Flesh and Blood ballad 'My Only Love. Sarah Brown is an amazing vocalist. This woman was pure soul as her voice became an instrument in the Roxy Music band. Legendary guitarist Chris Spedding also grabbed a bit of the spotlight at this point.

Then the audience were hammered with true Roxy Musicianship. The epic "In Every Dream Home A Heartache" demonstrated Roxy Music as one of the 70's altime great album selling bands. "Oh Yeah" another one from Flesh and Blood followed (interesting 'Same Old Scene' was not part of the set, nor was "More Than This' for that matter) and then Roxy Music, the party animal surfaced with dancing girls and 'Both Ends Burning'.

The introspective instrumental finale to the Avalon album "Tara" came next. It was a showcase moment for Andy MacKay, then Bryan was back for some Roxy Music class - "Avalon", "Dance Away" and Jealous Guy" in quick succession.

The era's were covered, the ballads were done and now it was just time to party. "Editions of You" and "Virginia Plain" signaled the singalong section of the setlist for the fans, but it was obvious as they left the stage that the most potent moment was yet to come.

The crowd only waited a minute for Roxy to return with their biggest pop hit "Love Is The Drug" and then sign-off tune "Do The Strand" but wait there's more ... The farewell moment was the ballad "For Your Pleasure" with each band member one by one leaving the stage.

Setlist for Roxy Music at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Australia 16 Aug 2001

Street Life
While My Heart Is Still Beating
Out Of The Blue
A Song For Europe
My Only Love
In Every Dreamhome A Heartache
Oh Yeah
Both Ends Burning
Dance Away
Jealous Guy
Editions Of You
Virginia Plain
Love Is The Drug
Do The Strand
For Your Pleasure

Radio Undercover

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