Bryan Ferry opened his show at the end of the night.

As shards of white light pierced the black of the stage in a fashionably 80s monochrome, his band slunk straight into the dark glossy nite-funk of The Main Thing. The song's intoxicating and dangerous sophistication inviting you past the red velvet rope and into a world of weary seduction and neon singed cocktail cool.

Ferry himself looked the part; dark navy jacket (was it velvet?) and tailored white shirt (top buttons undone, of course) and artfully tussled hair.

He followed it with the slinky Slave to Love. It was a pleasant surprise that such a big hit would come so early in the night. But it set the mood as Ferry would go on to cherry-pick through his solo hits and those of his former band, the acclaimed art rock outfit Roxy Music.


There's a natural dissonance between Roxy's twisty-turny, art-pop and the classy lounge lizard persona that Ferry adopted as the band neared its end and then as a solo artist. But no matter which camp you fell into Ferry had you covered.

"Hello there," he smiled, with a wave, as the louche funk of Don't Stop the Dance swelled up behind him, complete with its rain-drenched, wailing sax solo and accompanying flashes of funk guitar.

It'll be no surprise to learn that his band was crash hot. Renowned UK session man Chris Spedding kept the funk tasteful, while also tearing through his guitar solos with a steady ferocity. While his drummer could have toned down the thumping theatrics during the more sophisticated numbers his enthusiastic playing made perfect sense on the more rollicking Roxy numbers like Re-Make/Re-Model and Stronger through the Years and a brilliantly rousing cover of John Lennon's Jealous Guy.

But it was Ferry's saxophonist Jorja Chalmers, who was a dead ringer for Uma Thurman's Pulp Fiction character Mia Wallace, who damn near stole the show every time she stepped out of the shadows to take the spotlight and blast out big party solos like on Let's Stick Together or subtly add some smooth cool to those 3am hits like Avalon.

As for Ferry himself, it took a little while for the 72-year-old to warm those vocals up. The early hits in the set allowed a layer of cover thanks to their necessary reverb effects. Not that it mattered any. The vibes were most definitely there and on record those songs have a sort of half-whispered croon anyway. The more stompy material like Tokyo Joe and In Every Dream Home a Heartache or the stadium swaying Oh Yeah! proved little problem.

And perhaps he was just easing himself into it, as he only got stronger as the night went on. By the time he got to his signature song, the disco rock of Roxy's Love is the Drug he was in fine form.

Along with Ferry it took the crowd a little while to warm up. But by the end of the show everyone was on their feet and spilling into the aisles to dance.

But it was the night's quietest moment that was the undoubted highlight. The stage went black and a spotlight shone down on just him and his pianist as they rolled through a cover of Bob Dylan's poignant, bitter, tear-jerker Don't Think Twice It's Alright.


Awed into complete silence, the crowd was utterly transfixed by Ferry's performance. He even slipped a harmonica out of his jacket pocket for the solo. It was simply amazing and something really quite special.

He picked the pace back up with the dramatic pulse of My Only Love and the party really began.

Ferry didn't talk much, but he was all smiles and waves and looked to genuinely be having a blast up there.

As the stage got drenched in red light, the dapper Ferry swayed and danced while his crack band played his particular brand of slickly dark, slightly ominous night-funk you could almost believe you were back in the Hi-Fi era, lounging with the beautiful people in an exclusive club at a ridiculous hour teetering right there at the meeting point of hope and regret.