Gold Coast Review by Graham Bottomley - Thu 5th Feb

Gold Coast Review by Graham Bottomley
05 February 2004

Gold Coast Review by Graham Bottomley


Bryan Ferry strode out to applause and delivered an emotive The Only Face. He had the advantage of a smaller venue and superior sound , as his voice resonates with a clarity lacking in larger arenas. Don't Think Twice was dispensed with the gushing ivory roll of Colin Good and punctuated by Bryan's intense harmonica.

The 1100 strong audience remained transfixed as he Irish balladeered on Carrickfergus. The opening numbers have lulled the audience into a sense of intimate lounge whimsy - before they are greeted by the Great Paul Thompson's potent snare drum on Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

Instrumental , My Only Love gives Bry time for his first change of the evening into a grey silk suit - gotta say his pointy , snake skin shoes would make Carrie , from Sex In The City, ogle and gush. Which leads us into Baby Blue - this gets us into full band mode with Mark Smith dispensing a plucky bass run .

Cruel storms out of the blocks with more rollicking bass and nice fretwork from Chris Spedding. Ahhhh..upbeat and lively . This ain't just a lounge act . They are here to rock you !

Don’t Stop the Dance has a swing feel , the backup singers vocals punch up the intent , and Iain Dixon sweltering sax hits home.

The band hits party mode with 70's fave Tokyo Joe . It's fun time - nice violin by Louise Peacock augment the tight rhythm and honky hall piano.

Avalon is a concert highlight - backup singers, Michelle John and Sharon White voices soar, I have to say - their vocal range is an improvement on previous tours. These girls can sing very sweetly or roar into R n B mode. They intertwine to emulate the impossible highs of the original. Julia Thornton's percussion augments the steamy slickness of this 80's icon.

Casanova - clarinet and violin weave in and out to drive the melody. A very hearty backbeat by Paul Thompson. He's delving into Navaho territory. Where's the Tepee!

The two thunderous snare hits of Out Of The Blue drives the audience to clap along to the beat - Bryan is in fine voice - harking back to the mystery of Country Life . The band is on fire . The five second bass runs lead us to the superb and soaring violin solo by Louise Peacock.

My Only Love has ethereal guitar by Chris Spedding on his ancient axe, coupled with enchanting vocals by the girls on backup . Iain Dixon does his best Andy McKay impersonation to transport us to Avalon period Roxy.

Tara - returns us to lounge mode - I always feel this should accompany a foggy New York harbour scene. But this is the Gold Coast , with 36 km of beach, and its 35 degrees Celsius outside. A freezing cold meat packing district it ain't!

I've always considered Goodnight Irene to be a good last drinks UK Bar song that doesn't always translate live. I'm afraid that's the case tonight.

Jealous Guy has an impeccable keyboard delivery by Colin Good - it is a real highlight. Bryan is certainly packing a punch on this classic tonight. He seems more at ease - and the audience is the real winner.

Slave to Love has the audience swaying to the percussive beat.

We are now into the home straight and its encore time. Virginia Plain is frantic and rollicking - people are on their feet dancing . They shout that name with much gusto. Love Is the Drug has a committed bunch of musos in harmony - thundering bass gets feet a tapping. Do The Strand has the band at full tilt…sounds fantastic. This band rocks ! Only the aficionados know to point to the heavens at conclusion. I always think of Andy McKay in ' 73 mode, with gold Hair, white jumpsuit and sax with one finger aloft , when it gets to the end of this rock and roll gem.

With the crowd converted , the band blasts into another level , Lets Stick Together - the punters are shaking their asses and the sax is a rippin' and tearin'. The bass is pumping conveyer belt-like. Ferry sounds like it's ' 76 and a 19 year old Jerry Hall is in the wings. She's not , but the backup singers have better voices anyway. El Ferrari's harmonica is blazing.

Shame , Shame , Shame.. well , well, well - I haven't heard this one live since ' 77 and I think this stomper hasn't been dusted off for quite some time. You wouldn't think so - it is better than all those eons ago . Superior sound and delivery - The backing girls belt out their delivery with great veracity….and then it's over , the previous night had seen Hard Rain given a evangelical workout - but it wasn't to be on this fine summers evening.

Well ....I can say that I attended this gig with a great deal of trepidation. One Sydney reviewer had been less than kind, but I saw few signs of the ' lounge set' tag that he had given Mr. Ferry and his cohorts. The world's coolest man is welcome back to these sunny shores when he wants. At 58 there remains a sting in the tail of this dark suited legend

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