Review: Bryan Ferry at the Corn Exchange

Tom Bevan 12 May 2015

Following on from a huge 2014 for the former Roxy Music frontman, where he played Glastonbury and Coachella before releasing his 15th solo album entitled Avonmore, Bryan Ferry delighted a capacity crowd at the Corn Exchange on Friday in his usual charismatic and inventive way. Ferry is clearly very much out to entertain and proved that he still has the energy of his 1970s self with an impressive set of old favourites and new gems.

As seemingly one of the only students in attendance, it was clear that Ferry has a very strong cult following from his early days who have remained loyal. This became more apparent with the rapturous response to the iconic opening sequence of 'More Than This', after which the song fed straight in to 'Avalon', the performance of the night in my opinion. 'Avalon' was a powerful demonstration of how to best make use of a ten piece band, with sublime solo performances on the saxophone and the guitar, backed by a trio reminiscent of the backing on the 1982 album of the same name.

As Ferry dived into his new work there was, perhaps inevitably, a slight lull in atmosphere. However, tracks like 'Loop de Li' do bare a stronger resemblance to Roxy Music than much of his solo music, providing their former frontman the perfect opportunity to entice a new generation of glam-rock fans to rediscover his earlier work. At this point in the evening the stage erupted into a party-like scene, as the crowd were roused and brought swiftly to their feet by the sounds of 'Love is the Drug', 'Virginia Plain' and 'Let’s Stick Together'. Suddenly taken back to their youth, feigning no interest in the seating plan laid out but rather clambering by the stage for the best spot, by the end of the electric set everyone was on their feet. All that was left was for Ferry to return after his goodbyes for a rendition of John Lennon’s 'Jealous Guy', made very famous by Roxy Music just after the Beatle’s death, when it reached number one in the UK.  A fitting end to a thrilling night of music; Ferry’s still got it.