Ferry rocks the Regent

Bryan Ferry, Ipswich RegentROXY legend Bryan Ferry and his crew turned in a truly foxy performance, leaving the Suffolk faithful dancing in the aisles and screaming out for more.

Bryan Ferry, Ipswich Regent

ROXY legend Bryan Ferry and his crew turned in a truly foxy performance, leaving the Suffolk faithful dancing in the aisles and screaming out for more.

Big, bad, brilliant, Bryan was at the top of his game in an incredible 90-minute set in front of a sell-out crowd at the Regent.

Mr Ferry has an enduring appeal and the throng was made up of many who have supported him since the Roxy Music days which started in the early seventies.

Whether on tour with this band – or back with a reformed Roxy during a world tour last year – the fans have turned up their thousands.

The 1,700 Regent crowd was spellbound by a mixture of old and new from the three decades when Ferry has ruled the musical waves.

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In the early days, many of the crowd dressed themselves as copycats of the "peacock" rockers, including Woodbridge's very own Brian Eno.

They rocked in the aisles, wore their hair long, shocked themselves with their bright make-up and preened their sequins and feathers with pride. They thought their days as beautiful rock folk would never end.

Sadly, the days of responsible behaviour soon caught up with the Roxy boys and girls – but they never lost their passion for dear Bryan, who was last in Ipswich a couple of years ago.

Today the crowd may have hidden their feathers away in the loft – but the passion, if not all the make-up, is still there aplenty.

Thus it was that they stormed to the front, leaving the nicely-rounded bouncers in their wake, when the Ferry ensemble – an incredible 12-strong – started belting out the old favourites. How good it was to see them in stomping action – and Mr Ferry appeared truly delighted that the crowd was rocking and a bopping.

I loved the mixtures of old and new, including tracks from the new Ferry album, Frantic.

Old favourites included Slave to Love, a beautifully-rendered Jealous Guy, Love is the Drug and Do the Strand.

In parts of the performance, the inter-twining of guitar, piano, drums, vocals and saxophone was exquisite.

Wave after wave of musical pleasure flowed over the audience – the big man, in parts strutting like a demented daddy longlegs (sorry, girls) knew he was in charge.

Support came in from all his band members, but one of his oldest musical allies, Chris Spedding was in top axeman form – even if his dress sense was left at home.

Ferry and Co showed Ipswich the massive importance of live music. At its zenith, the Regent performance was enough to bring a tear trilling down many a middle-aged cheek.

It was haunting, majestic, magical, powerful and rounded.

Three encore numbers included Let's Stick Together and Shame on You.

Then the magic man, and his friends, were gone into the mists of a Suffolk autumn evening.

As a young teenager, this reviewer knew the joys of a brilliant Roxy performance. He saw another stunner last night.

Bryan, we were all dreaming of the past – we all enjoyed the present ... and we hope we have much more of you to look forward to in the future.

Nigel Pickover.