Beyond the Music, Lies the Magic and The Legend – Reflections of Bryan Ferry
The legendary frontman man of Roxy Music who remains the master of romantic slaves to love Bryan Ferry, put on a stellar intimate show with his band in Johannesburg on 16 February at Sun Arena Menlyn Maine. A night of reflection for everyone as to where it all started in the 1970’s era of Roxy Music. The same time of Velvet Underground and David Bowie amongst other great artists. Over 30 million albums have been sold to date inclusive of Roxy Music.
Although the audience of different generations (including myself) were quite comfortable to sit back and watch the magic on stage unfold over a 23 song set list, they all resonated with the past. Some in the aisles, others singing at the top of their lungs. It would have been great for a merchandise stand to be available at the show to purchase the ultimate Bryan Ferry collection. People love acquiring rock ‘n roll collectables.
However, I am not sure people realise the magnitude of what they saw. I heard Slave to Love when I was 9 years old on the radio and then on vinyl NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC Vol 5. My parents had the whole collection of albums (remember with the Pig on the covers). Music was a “thing” in our house and I recall recording the music video on Betamax video tape from Pop Shop that was the biggest, best and only show that played music videos in the 80's in South Africa.
To have a photo accreditation and see Bryan perform 30+ years later was absolutely mind-blowing - a reflection of the past and now on my camera.
Through times of happiness, love, sorrow and sadness, he sings about it all.
He recorded Shakespeare Sonnet No 18 after the tragic passing of Princess Diana in 1997, which appeared on the compilation “The Diana Tribute Album”. The most picturesque performance of poetry with an orchestra I have ever heard that will leave chills down your spine.
In 2011 he received a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from the Queen for his contribution to music.
Keeping up with the times and of the evolution of music he sang vocals on the song “Shameless” on Groove Aramda’s album “Black Light” in 2010 which received a nomination for the 53rd Grammy Awards in category “Best Electronic Dance album”.
Bryan is like fine art, classy and sophisticated with the love of life in monochrome. He is a Doctor of music, profound songsmith and musical genius with extreme attention to detail in music composition. His story is intriguing and legendary, and that’s a whole book on its own. Later this year he will be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame with Roxy Music in the ceremony alongside The Cure, Def Leppard, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, and The Zombies.
Its goes without saying that Bryan’s legendary legacy deserves a backed up “pedigree” and that’s only half of it. He has handpicked specialist musicians in their fields to be part of his journey. The whole is only equal to the sum of its parts.
Chris Spedding – Lead Guitar
Chris has tackled every rock n roll style available. In the 1970’s he was the most sought after session guitarist in England and has been in multiple bands including The Wombles. He performed on the original Jesus Christ Superstar in 1970 and has also taken part in the documentary of Rodriguez, Finding Sugar Man. Chis has played session for Katy Melua, Art Garfunkel, Ginger Baker amongst, Joan Aramtrading, amongst many others including an appearance on Paul Mc Cartneys “Give My Regards To Broad Street” in 1984 playing session with Linda Mc Cartney. He was the producer of the Sex Pistols first demo tapes recorded in May 1976.
Jerry Meehan – Bass #jerrymeehan
Jerry is the bass player for Robby Williams and has performed alongside Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, Roxy Music, Lisa-Marie Presley, Will Young, Midge Ure and Boyzone.
Marina Moore – Violin / Viola
Marina enjoys composing music, videos and creating soundscapes.
Richard Cadwell – Keyboard
Richard performs on keys and is the musical director for the Bryan Ferry tour band. He has performed with Eurhythmics and Annie Lennox, James Morrison, John Newman, Dido, Rod Stewart, Will Young, Joe Cocker, Nelly Furtado, Lighthouse Family, Natasha Beefing-Field and Sophie Ellis-Bexter.
Luke Bullen – Drummer
Performances with Jo Strummer and The Mascaleros, KT Tunstall as well as touring the world with Billy Brag until he then got a call to audition for Bryan Ferry.
Jorja Chalmers – Saxophonist
The incredible sound of Jorja’s sax takes the band to the next level.
Hannah Khemoh and Aleysha Gordon on backing vocals carry the harmonies.
Incredible to see how the music that has moved through a timeline of over 40 years and still relevant to this day.
The evenings set list of Bryan Ferry’s favourites:
The Main Thing | Slave To Love | Don't Stop The Dance | Ladytron | Out Of The Blue | Oh Yeah!
Casanova | A Waste Land | Windswept | Bete Noire | Zamba Stronger Through The Years
Bitter Sweet | My Only Love | In Every Dream Home A Heartache
If There Is Something | Re-make/Re-model | More Than This
Avalon | Love Is The Drug | Virginia Plain | Jealous Guy | Let's Stick Together
With heartfelt gratitude, Arno Carstens humbly accepted an invitation to join Bryan at both the Cape Town and Johannesburg shows for his South African tour. A stellar set indeed that included the biggest Springbok Nude Girls hit “Blue Eyes” and the chart topper that launched Arno’s solo career “Another Universe”. (I can only imagine how it must have felt to get “that phone call”.)
Bryan won’t be stopping hanging up his dancing shoes anytime soon and Arno won’t be forgetting being a part of this journey.
An incredible opening set! | An incredible backing band! | An incredible international icon!
#BryanFerry | #BigConcerts | @BryanFerry | #BryanFerrySouthAfrica | #UndergroundPress | @Tarryne16
Photos by Tarryne Rautenbach