Fabulous Ferry goes solo
This February week in 1977 saw two major stars on stage at the Colston Hall – Bryan Ferry and Jethro Tull.
"Bryan Ferry, front man and chief image maker of Roxy Music, returned to Bristol last night in a new guise," wrote the Post's James Belsey.
"He has swapped the successful format of singer with a leading rock band for the solo star with an 11-piece back-up.
"Ferry has chosen his singers and musicians – which include two Roxy Music survivors – with care.
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"Playing alongside them was that most aristocratic of rock guitarists, Chris Spedding.
"It was a big, fat, juicy sound and one wondered how Ferry's distinctly quirky vocals would fare.
"Well, he succeeded. He has an odd style, almost gauche, but the visual clumsiness gives that vital touch of the unexpected in his appearance and singing.
"The choice of numbers was, in my opinion, less successful. Ferry has a passion for reviving old hits, so we had songs like It's My Party,Tracks Of My Tears and so on.
"Sometimes it worked. Last night's peak was a clever re-working of Dylan's A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall.
"Chris Spedding deserves special mention, showing an effortless talent that puts most other rock guitarists to shame."
Later in the week, the same venue featured Jethro Tull, who are still performing today. "Jethro Tull were magnificent at their epic concert last night," wrote James Belsey.
"Marshalled by the demonic Ian Anderson, the band have pursued a solitary path over the past decade, exploring the meeting points between rock, folk, English chamber music and a few more sources.
"They've had more than their share of stick from music critics, but with nine gold albums to their credit – and an international reputation as one of the world's most attractive bands – why worry?
"Critics certainly weren't worrying them last night as the band staged an almost frighteningly well-acted performance.
"The show, which lasted the best part of two hours, began with a refreshingly down-key stroll on stage by Anderson, who then played moments of delicious acoustic music while the band trooped on, one by one.
"Anderson dominated, of course, but the musicians behind him were faultless.
"That wild, leering, balletic and surprisingly gentle-voiced character is one of British rock's masterpieces."