“Sometimes the simplest words are best at properly capturing the essence of an experience and, as such, it seems there is only one word that properly explains an Evening with Bryan Ferry: wow.”
The gig, performed in the Lowry theatre on Friday and Saturday night, was musical mastery fused with a juxtaposition of ages and eras combined with a gallon or two of pure energy.
The evening itself took on a personality of its own as the audience were cojoled through musical generations and genres continually underpinned by the theme of contrast.
As the gig got underway the Bryan Ferry orchestra took the stage alone.
The members then started the clock in the 20’s and ‘Gatsby’d’ Roxy music classics in nostalgic big band style; ‘taking them back to their origins’ as the Piano player put it.
As the double bass imposed its hypnotic plucks and the vibrato from the muted trumpet created a living, breathing speakeasy there was no thought given to the fact that twenty minutes had passed and there was still no sign Bryan Ferry.
In other cases this may have been met with worry but the sheer brilliance of the band meant no one would have minded if this went on all night.
However, in one fell swoop the 68-year-old changed all that.
Emerging from the wings the dapper veteran, complete with flowery tuxedo, slashed seamlessly through the 20’s wonderment.
Rock n’ Roll had landed.
The drums went from Lada to Lamborghini and the bafflingly good guitarist heralded the coming of a new era.
In a scene that can only be likened to Marty McFly playing Rock n’ Roll to bewildered onlookers in Back to the Future, the guitarist played an impossibly eccentric elongated solo that went on far too long, but in the best way possible.
A set-list that was expertly designed ensured a smooth sway back and forth through a variety of times and tempos.
This was fourteen stars on stage performing in a band that were so tight that it exuded the hours of dedicated time spent on the pursuit of a single skill.
As Ferry left the stage for an interval the chatter that erupted was one of excitement and anticipation.
The second half began exactly as the first and hit its stride immediately.
The room began to swell with an irresistible energy and audience members gradually trickled to their feet.
Eventually the whole room was up and rockin’; a standing ovation with half an hour to go.
This was no longer a gig; it was a party.
Retrospectively it seems as though Bryan Ferry and co have cracked the science of art and found a simple formula for performing.
Add an insanely talented group of performers to a well thought out set list and stage design and you will get something special.
As the audience rose to its feet there was a sense of inevitability; like everyone on stage knew what was coming and when to expect it.
And therein lied to beauty of the gig. It was a contrast of science and art and of young and old guided by a group of performers that expertly straddled both sides of every divide.