BRYAN Ferry came home to the North East and created a storm of nostalgia at the Sage, Gateshead.
One of the world’s greatest crooners he has been variously described as a cross between Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Johhnie Ray and the human equivalent of an E type Jag. And you can see the conundrum, it’s impossible to stereotype the guy, but it’s a class act, he’s as polished as an antique shop silver spoon .
As an evening of entertainment it’s a cracker introduced by the Bryan Ferry Orchestra performing from the recent album The Jazz Age. This may have thrown many of the original Roxy Music fans but Mr Ferry soon arrived to shoot up the tempo, trailing rock and roll and his own blend of avant-garde specials including Reason or Rhyme, Let’s Stick Together and Slave to love.
He did seem to ease himself in, saving the big numbers for the second half . But then what ‘s very easily forgotten, as he is so impossibly glamorous still, is he is 68. So, well past even the governments constantly elongated retirement age, he’s obviously having none of the pipe and slippers nonsense and is in the middle of a 21 gig tour of Britain.
Two nights were spent at The Sage, Gateshead, harking back to his roots on the doorstep at Washington new town where he grew up. The son of a miner he didn’t play an instrument or write a song till he was 24, maybe that’s why he’s so original and fresh 44 years later. Instead he’d concentrated on art at Newcastle University, working as a pottery teacher in a girl’s school before embarking on his meteoric music career. There is a school of thought that the headmaster asked him to leave to save the education of countless impressionable teenage girls .
Songs were plucked from across the decades with renditions from his Dylanesque album and the fabulous Lennon classic which Ferry made his own ,Jealous Guy. Backed by a glorious mix of the mature and experienced, he’s also brought in youngsters supreme guitarist Oliver Thnompson, and storming drummer Cherisse Ofosu-Ose.
It wasn’t for everyone,my 14 year old daughter thought it was “quite good” but maybe that’s just too big a leap across the generations. Otherwise the Sage, was on it’s feet shouting for more after two encores