Concert Review – Roxy Magic

Lichfield Arts Concert Review

Roxy Magic – 6th October 2019

Review by Ben Macnair

Photography by Dave Jones

With one of rock music’s most sonically distinctive voices and one of its most iconic front-men in Bryan Ferry, everything in a Roxy Magic tribute band has to be of the highest order. If you add to the pressure some of the most adventurous soundscapes produced in the 1970s by the likes of Brian Eno, and Phil Manzanera. Then there are the saxophone, bass playing and drumming that demands a lot more than the usual three chords and 4/4 beat, then you must have musicians that can deliver, not just as individuals, but as a team, and this proved to be the case with Roxy Magic.

With fans ranging from Bryan Ferry himself, to luminaries from the world’s of music and entertainment, Roxy Magic has been one of the country’s leading Roxy Magic tribute bands for many years now, and their second sold-out show at Lichfield’s Guildhall was a testament to the years of hard work and effort that the group has put in. The band of lead singer Kevin Hackett, guitarist Richard Price, saxophonist Robbie Tabrett, Richard Northwood on keyboards and backing vocals, bassist and backing vocalist Mark Schlotel and drummer Simon Atkins played the full range of Roxy Music’s sound, ranging from glam rock to jazz, pure pop and guitar-led rock.

Much of the set was by Roxy Music, but some choice covers and two singles from Bryan Ferry’s solo career also featured. An early highlight was the torch song version of Bob Dylan’s To Make you feel my love, showing off the rough-hewn timbre of Kevin Hacket’s voice, and the piano playing of Richard Northwood. More than This, If There is Something and Editions of You were highlights of the first half, while the second half featured most of the songs that Roxy Music is best known for, and got some of the capacity audience on their feet.

Throughout the extended codas to songs, the talents that the guitar and saxophone players showed were exemplary, ranging from pure rock to more delicate and jazz toned filigree playing.

The hits kept on coming, with Dance Away and Avalon showing how sophisticated a group Roxy Music could be. Their biggest hits finished the set, with Do The Strand, Virginia Plain, Love is the Drug and Let’s Stick together bringing the audience to their feet. The encore of John Lennon’s Jealous Guy slowed down the evening, with some fine whistling from the audience adding to the experience of what had already been a very well received and played gig.

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