News: Bryan Ferry of ROXY MUSIC - Health problems

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  1. grog

    grog Roxy Music

    Jul 1, 2002
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    OFFICIAL Bryan Ferry homepage

    Tour update updated 21.06.04

    Bryan will not being playing tomorrow at Kedliston Hall due to ongoing voice problems, he is very sorry to let everyone down but on doctors orders he has decided at this last minute to cancel the show. We will update on a daily basis further tour news

    Due to severe problems with laryngitis Bryan Ferry has sadly had to cancel four of his shows this summer. Bedgebury Kent, Hampton Court London, Dalby forest Yorkshire and Delamere forest in Cheshire He is deeply upset that he could not fulfil his commitment to perform at these events. He has been suffering while on tour recently in the Middle East and last week had to make this difficult decision to cancel on doctor’s advice. He sends his apologies to all who were looking forward to seeing him.

    BRYAN FERRY - Biography
    'FRANTIC' is not a word one normally associates with the popular perception of Bryan Ferry. The new solo album from this most intriguing and influential of artists is an energetic, effervescent set, blending stylishly thrilling self-penned songs with a handful of emotionally-charged covers. Refreshed by last year's triumphant Roxy Music reunion tour, Ferry's sounding punchier than ever.

    'The title Frantic comes from a lyric that didn't end up on the album, but seemed to me a good title for this record. It's been a hectic couple of years for me, both touring and recording, and the mood in which this album was created was nothing if not frantic.'

    Indeed the album's flushed with a vigour Ferry's often kept veiled: it's perhaps more song-based than texture-obsessed, with killer hooks a-plenty.

    'Yes I know what it is to be free/ To run as far as the eye can see...' ('Cruel')

    'Having touched on the Thirties with 'As Time Goes By', this time I wanted to do something quite different, and make a guitar-based album with a direct, live feel.'

    Musicians involved include Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, Dave Stewart (who co-wrote several numbers) and Roxy tour stalwarts Paul Thompson, Chris Spedding, Colin Good and Lucy Wilkins. Brian Eno collaborates with Ferry on the co-written finale 'I Thought', and also plays on 'Goddess Of Love'. 'And he sings with gusto on both!' smiles Bryan.

    Lyrically, to the delight of long-term Roxy fans, Ferry revisits and reinvigorates themes he's explored before – love, lust, longing, dream homes and Dylan tropes. It can't be entirely coincidental that frantic rhymes with romantic…

    'EACH wall a picture/ Some of his best work/ Delicate touches/ They're simply charming…'('San Simeon')

    Bryan Ferry rose to fame in the early Seventies as singer, songwriter and designer for those pioneering pop peacocks, Roxy Music. Roxy, now of course icons, began as iconoclasts, revolutionising notions of where the boundaries of rock music lay. They initiated a seismic shift, utilising glamour, trauma and wild, fearless experimentation, both sonic and visual. Their 1972 debut album (dressed in the first of a series of archly sexy covers) is habitually hailed as one of the greatest opening salvos of all time. A provocative, potent brew of pop-art and sci-fi, of imagination and nostalgia, it was matched by the sleek, sinister 'For Your Pleasure'. Singles such as 'Virginia Plain' and 'Pyjamarama' stunned the sleeping pop charts into wakefulness.

    'There was real energy: it felt new. With such an interesting line-up of sounds, our aim was to be different. So many possibilities were touched on. We reflected any number of inspirations, of fascinating worlds – we could take it any number of ways.'

    After Eno's exit, Ferry's soulful lyricism came further to the fore, through the grandiose yet groovy 'Stranded', 'Country Life' and 'Siren', spawning such sublime hits as 'Street Life', 'All I Want Is You' and 'Love Is The Drug'.

    Roxy, with each member hugely prolific and busy, then took a three-year break. Ferry's solo career was simultaneously flourishing. Albums such as 'These Foolish Things', 'Another Time, Another Place', 'In Your Mind', and his own favourite, 'The Bride Stripped Bare', revealed his unrivalled ability to remake and remodel classic songs while still exploring fresh territory with his own writing.

    'Unconscious in Versailles. Press play begin.' ('Hiroshima')

    In 1979, Roxy Music returned, streamlined and suited-up, the perfect modernist nouveau-disco project, balancing European and American flavours on Manifesto and its chart-topping follow-up 'Flesh And Blood'. Songs like 'Dance Away', 'Angel Eyes', 'Oh Yeah' and 'Over You' embedded their glacial cool into the international consciousness, and their poignant version of John Lennon's 'Jealous Guy' gave the band their first U.K. number one.

    'If the earlier phase was my favourite, there's a certain beauty in that later work – more accessible, less angular. And we had to keep changing: we didn't want a one-dimensional career.'

    In 1982 'Avalon', the final Roxy Music album, dreamily evocative, honed the art of suggestion and nuance. Such sensuous use of textures and mood-setting magic was to preoccupy Bryan Ferry through his subsequent solo recordings: 'Boys And Girls' (another U.K. number one), 'Bete Noire', 'Taxi' and 'Mamouna'. 1999's 'As Time Goes By' explored the wit and passion underlying the spirit of songwriting's most sophisticated era; classic songs to be studied and subverted by the man who, across three decades, has been named – to his wry amusement - "the godfather of style" and "the coolest living Englishman" more times than Casablanca has been misquoted.

    Roxy's legacy was to infiltrate and improve numerous musical genres: some obviously, some subtly – from new romantics to prog-rockers, from dance to trance, they've been hailed as visionary. Radiohead, Moby, Suede and Pulp are just some of the recent big-hitters to acclaim their aesthetic. There was also the attitude, classical yet eclectic, primarily exuded by Ferry, which quietly informed aspiring stars that a well-chosen whisper could be more effective than yet another scream. Roxy brought a lick of Gatsby to pop's gateau, did the strand and charmed with psalms, were both a really good time and bittersweet. They understood and embodied the thrill of it all, knew that it takes a certain graceful wisdom to be a sentimental fool for love.

    'LOOKING for new gods/ Looking for new blood/ Looking for you…' ('I Thought')

    The recording of "Frantic" was interrupted by last year's Roxy reunion tour. 'A great experience' for Ferry, it also gave him valuable enforced time away from the album.

    "It was great to take the energy of that tour, and some of the players, and ride on it. Colin Good, the pianist on the tour, produced it with Rhett Davies, and we reworked and remixed some stuff I'd initially done with Dave Stewart. I always find Bob Dylan's songs very poetic, and "Don't Think Twice" was done very simply and live, which is quite unusual these days. I'm always building these collages of sound, but it was great for me, as a singer, not to have to compete with a hundred other instruments."

    'In days gone by, there was a king/ A fool for love, and all it brings' ('Fool For Love')

    The French mediaeval-sounding song, 'Ja Nun Hons Pris' – written by Richard The Lionheart - serves as a brief prologue to 'Fool For Love', which has a kind of courtly feel, conjuring up other-worldly images of dragons and unicorns.

    Elsewhere, there are namechecks for 'iconic figures' 'James Bond, Jackie O, Johnny Ray, Garbo', while 'Goddess Of Love' muses over Marilyn.

    'For me to write something sparked by Monroe was long overdue – she was the ultimate goddess of the silver screen.'

    Another inspiration is Leadbelly, whose blues classic 'Goodnight Irene' is interpreted here with Cajun musicians.

    'He's the first person I remember ever hearing on the radio as a young boy. It had a huge effect on me. Such yearning and longing in his voice. The love of the blues has stayed with me ever since.'

    The search extends into futurism on 'Hiroshima', which probes a science-fiction cyberpunk world and also pays homage to the 'nouvelle vague' films of Alain Resnais. Yet perhaps 'San Simeon', a return to the scene of the beautiful crime that was Roxy's 'In Every Dream Home A Heartache', paradoxically represents Ferry's most daring imaginative leap.

    'The bulk of those lyrics were written some time ago; some were from verses I left out of 'Dream Home' – I never threw them away. The song is inspired by Orson Welles' movie Citizen Kane, with a castle haunted by the ghosts of a thousand Hollywood parties."

    Timely and timeless, Bryan Ferry's music continues to seduce and surprise. Frantic is a lush rush.

    Greg's pick

    Roxy Music - 'Live at the Apollo'

    Satisfying endless speculation and voracious interest, Roxy Music undertook a world tour in 2001, in their first live performances together for 18 years, based around the classic line-up of vocalist Bryan Ferry, saxophonist Andy Mackay and guitarist Phil Manzanera.

    This video was recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo on 1st October 2001 and marked the closure of the tour.

    This excellent live video captures both sides of Roxy Music, from the kitsch, avant-garde and experimental to the suave, sophisticated pop-soul that abandoned the art-rock niche to embrace a wider audience. An absolutely essential purchase for Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry fans.

    Track List
    Street Life
    While My Heart is Still Beating
    Out Of The Blue
    Song For Europe
    My Only Love
    In Every Dream Homw A Heartache
    Oh Yeah!
    Both Ends Burning
    Mother Of Pearl
    Dance Away
    Jealous Guy
    Editions Of You
    Virginia Plain
    Love Is The Drug
    Do The Strand
    For Your Pleasure

    Let's hope Bryan gets well. A true ICON in music history.


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