Wednesday 19 June 2019

Review: Bryan Ferry fills us with Love and Loss in poignant Trinity gig

Bryan Ferry
Bryan Ferry
Deirdre Conroy

Deirdre Conroy

The cummerbund of my teens, the wraparound elegant dance movement and sophisticated sound of one man and his sax legend, is on stage in Trinity College parkland and he blows the clouds away with ‘Slave to Love’. There is so much to love about Bryan Ferry. He brings his sophisticated solo and Roxy Music vibe to Dublin and the audience have dressed up in honour.

We stand in awe as the Irish air fills with his unique voice, and then a tall, utterly handsome young man walks past me. It is one of Ferry’s four sons, and then another and another, hanging out in the grounds with their dad on stage. It is a week of tragedy for the family and there is no hiding from the poignant atmosphere. 

The soundtrack to your teens is a lifelong immersion, it is for me anyway. Hard to believe Roxy Music’s songs that gave me leaving cert stress relief, boyfriend stress relief, parent stress relief, still cheer me no end. 

The sad love lyrics so common in Ferry songs, penetrate without pain, the soundscape simply luxuriates around the dark side of loss. ‘Love is the Drug’ exudes the alternative, pitching a happy dance vibe through the audience. 

Standing in the middle of our Trinity, em, summer series, the winter rain pummeled and drenched us, but nothing would keep us from swaying to his ‘More Than This’ and crooning to ‘Jealous Guy’, Ferry’s cover of John Lennon’s song which he recorded as a tribute to Lennon after his death. 

As the joy rises, he launches into the raunchy ‘Let’s Stick Together’ with his distinct harmonica sound and soon had the audience yelping, just like the formidable Jerry Hall back in the 70’s. In Roxy Music days, Andy Mackay was the scorching saxophonist, this time the sylph-like Jorja Chalmers takes over and wows us with her exceptional solo in ‘Avalon’, the song from Roxy Music’s final studio album of 1982, with definitive material that Ferry started working on in Connemara.

Ferry has had a lasting and influential impact on music and taste. Besides his songs, his dress and dance style is unique and now in his early seventies, there is no change to that model male poise he launched in the 1970s. And there is no change to the passion music lovers feel for him, that was clear in an audience soaked to the skin, smiling and grooving in Dublin last night. 

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