Live Aid Wembley Stadium 13th July 1985
I went with a couple of mates. We missed out on tickets when they went on sale and the only way we could get there was to buy tickets for a coach trip from Middlesbrough. So we were up at 4am, drove to Middlesbrough and joined a coach which left at 5am for London. We arrived well before noon, had a couple of drinks and entered the stadium, which was of course completely packed so we found a spot in the stands right at the back. A few minutes later Status Quo took to the stage with “Rockin’ All Over The World” and the day started. This was Quo reunited one year after the split, with Alan flying over from Oz to join Francis and Rick. Their short set also featured Caroline” and “Don’t Waste My Time”. A fitting start to the day. I have so many great memories of that day.
Queen’s performance is, of course, often rated as the greatest live performance by any band. Freddie certainly commanded the crowd the day and it propelled them to super stardom. Their well planned set was a medley with short sections of their anthems: “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “Hammer To Fall”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions”. They had apparently been rehearsing their short set for days, to ensure perfection, and it showed, and worked. U2 weren’t far behind them, though, in terms of performance, with Bono showing how great a front man he was. U2 played two songs: “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and a lengthy version of “Bad” during which Bono dragged a girl from the rush down front to dance with him on stage, and which also included snippets from Lou Reed’s “Satellite of love” and “Walk On The Wild Side”, and The Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday” and “Sympathy for the Devil”. Electric.
For me, however. the highlights were The Who and David Bowie, as I was, and remain, a big fan of both acts. Bowie started with “TVC15” (a strange and poor choice I felt, and remember being disappointed on the day), “Rebel Rebel” (great, good choice), “Modern Love” (well, ok) and then “Heroes” (we all sag along and it was pure magic). I still feel that with a better choice of songs Bowie could have eclipsed Queen and U2.
The Who performed “My Generation”, “Pinball Wizard”, “Love Reign O’er Me” (another strange song choice given the magnitude of the event) and a blistering “Won’t Get Fooled Again” with much mike swinging by Daltrey and lots of arm twirling by Townshend.
Other memories: Elton and Kiki sang “Don’t go Breaking my Heart” (great!). Paul McCartney suffered from sound problems and we couldn’t hear him at all for much of “Let It Be” although I gather it was fine on TV. Geldof drew massive cheers every time he set foot on stage, and he deserved every one of them. The scheduling worked amazingly, with very few hitches. Seeing the cameras pick out Charles and Diana over in their enclosure. The amazingly camp Bowie and Jagger video. The awful, sad and moving video of starving children played to the Cars’ “Drive”. Phil Collins playing Wembley and JFK courtesy of Concorde (show off).
But the truly unforgettable moment came at the end, and will stay in my mind for ever. That was the finale, with the entire stadium singing along to “Do They Know It’s Christmas ?” with Bob Geldof leading us, and everyone else on stage. I’ve never seen, felt, or heard anything like it before or since. We walked out of that stadium to the coach park, all of us still singing…..”Feed The World”…..
Then it was a long coach ride back to Middlesbrough. We arrived back around 5 or 6am, then drove home. 24 hours with hardly any sleep, just an hour or so caught on the bus, but a day I will remember forever.
Line-up: Status Quo; The Style Council; The Boomtown Rats; Adam Ant; Ultravox; Spandau Ballet; Elvis Costello; Nik Kershaw; Sade; Sting; Phil Collins; Howard Jones; Bryan Ferry (with David Gilmour on guitar); Paul Young/Alison Moyet; U2; Dire Straits/Sting; Queen; Video “Dancing in the Streets” by David Bowie/Mick Jagger; David Bowie; The Who; Elton John (Kiki Dee and George Michael join Elton); Mercury and May; Paul McCartney; Finale
Archive for the ‘Bryan Ferry’ Category
Live Aid Wembley Stadium 13th July 1985
Bryan Ferry Sage Gateshead Nov 10th 2013. Laura and I went to see Bryan Ferry at the Sage last night. Laura has recently become a big fan of Bryan’s version of “These Foolish Things” and has also been listening to early Roxy. Bryan sold out two nights at the Gateshead venue, and we attended the second concert. This tour seems Bryan performing with his own jazz orchestra and band, drawing songs from throughout his career. The show started with the Bryan Ferry Orchestra playing jazz interpretations of Roxy classics, before they were joined by the man himself, resplendent in a period-style floral smoking jacket. The show is based in 20s jazz; think Great Gatzby, art deco; and lounge suits.
Set 1: The Bryan Ferry Orchestra: Do the Strand; Slave to Love; The Bogus Man; Avalon; Just Like You; Young and Beautiful; The Way You Look Tonight. The band is joined by Bryan Ferry. The Only Face; Reason or Rhyme; Same Old Blues; Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues; Don’t Stop the Dance; Oh Yeah; Carrickfergus; New York City; Take a Chance with Me; Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door; A Song for Europe.
After a short interval Bryan and band rolled out the classics. I’ve sometimes felt that Bryan looked awkward on stage, trying to be too cool, and not quite making it. Not the case last night. He looked completely at home, just as the songs sounded right, and fitted well with their new interpretation. Bryan has managed to blend all aspects of his music into a career-spanning show that, at just short of three hours including interval, sent everyone home pleased and satisfied.
Set 2: The Bryan Ferry Orchestra: I Thought; This Island Earth. Bryan returns. Out of the Blue; When She Walks in the Room; Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; Jealous Guy; Casanova; Street Life; Love Is the Drug; Let’s Stick Together; Hold On I’m Coming; Shame, Shame, Shame; Editions of You; Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.
On the way out we heard someone say: “the coolest guy on the planet”. And last night I might have just about agreed with that.
Bryan Ferry As Time Goes By Newcastle City Hall 1999
Over 20 years since I last saw Bryan Ferry solo in concert, Marie and I went along to the City Hall to see him on his “As Time Goes By” tour. He had just released the album of the same name, which featured Bryan singing old standards. The middle of the road nature of the album made me think twice about attending this gig, but Marie quite fancied it so we bought a couple of tickets. Bryan, as usual, performed well, and I quite enjoyed the concert which mixed the standards with a few Roxy Music favourites. Bryan had no support act for the tour, and performed the show accompanied by a band and string quartet. The show opened with a harp solo followd by the string quartet and the band playing a song before Bryan joined them on stage. There was an interval where the band played Sweet Georgia Brown, while Bryan had a short breather. Quite interesting, and different, and very well done. I always find Bryan an interesting and intriguing performer. He carries the image of the cool sophisticated guy, but onstage he often strikes me as being slightly awkward and uncomfortable, and comes over as quite a shy person. His vocal performance is always impeccable, and I have to admit his choice of songs is excellent, even if some of them are middle of the road. Setlist would be something like: The Way You Look Tonight; Love Me or Leave Me; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; Chance Meeting; Carrickfergus; Where or When; Bitter Sweet; Out of the Blue; The Only Face; As Time Goes By; Sunset; September Song; Falling in Love Again; Just One of Those Things; Avalon; Jealous Guy; Let’s Stick Together; Love Is the Drug; Do the Strand
Bryan Ferry Newcastle City Hall 1977
Things were busy for Bryan Ferry in the mid-70s. He released a series of solo albums, by 1976 Roxy Music had officially disbanded, and in 1977 he embarked upon his first solo tour. The UK leg of the tour was originally set to take place in late 1976, but was put back to early 1977. Bryan assembled a very impressive band for the tour consisting of former fellow Roxy members Paul Thompson on drums, Phil Manzanera on guitar, and John Wetton on bass. Ace guitarist Chris Spedding was also in the band, alongside Ann O’Dell on keyboards, a brass section of Mel Collins, Martin Drover and Chris Mercer and the trio of Dyan Birch, Frank Collins and Paddie McHugh, who came via Arrival and Kokomo. The set was drawn from Bryan’s solo albums and also included a couple of Roxy Music songs. This covered a mix of pop, rock, soul and more traditional middle of the road songs. I remember that the middle of the road nature of some of Bryan’s solo outings put me off a little, but I remember this as a very enjoyable concert. Bryan’s excellent versions of The ‘In’ Crowd and Dylan’s A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall would be worth the price of admission on their own. A typical setlist for the tour was: Let’s Stick Together; Shame, Shame, Shame; Roadrunner; All Night Operator; Party Doll; You Go To My Head; Could It Happen To Me; In Your Mind; Casanova; Love Me Madly Again; Love Is The Drug; Tokyo Joe; This Is Tomorrow; The ‘In’ Crowd; A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall; The Price Of Love; It’s My Party; Tracks Of My Tears