Casino Rama - October 8, 2011

Bryan Ferry performed at Casino Rama Saturday night. (Peter Turchett/ Special to QMI Agency)

Bryan Ferry performed at Casino Rama Saturday night. (Peter Turchett/ Special to QMI Agency)

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:29 AM ET

RAMA, Ont. - British singer Bryan Ferry made senior citizenship look pretty damn elegant on Saturday night at Casino Rama.

The sometime Roxy Music frontman pulled into town with his Olympia tour - named after his 2010 solo album - as part of his first North American solo trek in a decade.

It helped that the 66-year-old Ferry, still sophisticated, sexy and glamorous in a beautiful black suit and tie with a dreamy voice that seems to have improved with age, brought a big band and slick production with him for the crowd of 3,300 gathered over Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada.

There were six musicians, including Roxy Music’s Paul Thompson on drums and outstanding female sax player Jorja Chalmers, and four backup singers. They were accompanied by two go-go dancers and filmed vignettes for every song in a set list -new footage sometimes mixed with old film clips - that encompassed his 40-year-career both with Roxy and as a solo artist.

“It’s great to be back here in Canada after all this time,” said Ferry, who played keyboards and piano when he wasn’t at the microphone, clapping his hands, dancing or playing harmonica.

“Thank you for being a great audience tonight.”

He kicked off the night with the Roxy classic The Main Thing, and later Don’t Stop The Dance, and If There Is Something, before delving into Bob Dylan’s Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues and Make You Feel My Love from his 2007 Dylan covers album, Dylanesque.

His Olympia cuts were contained to You Can Dance and Reason Or Rhyme with album cover girl Kate Moss appearing in stills during the latter in a filmed sequence behind the band. (She was also featured on the front of Thompson’s drum kit.)

But it was Ferry’s cover of Neil Young’s Like A Hurricane that struck the first major chord with the Canadian crowd with impressive lead work from young guitarist Oliver Thompson and veteran Chris Spedding, which prompted a standing ovation at the end of the song.

Thompson and Spedding would pull out the stops again on the electrifying show-closing Dylan cover All Along The Watchtower.

Another musical standout was the beautiful instrumental Tara with Ferry on piano and Spedding on acoustic guitar.

Few things, however, could compare to the powerful musical and visual combination of To Turn You On, which included snippets of An American in Paris and To Catch A Thief with cityscapes at night, and Avalon, with a woman dancing in slow motion amid silver confetti, and the impact of encore songs like John Lennon’s Jealous Guy - which featured Ferry whistling - and the exquisite Slave To Love.

For pure fun, there was the dance tunes Love Is the Drug, and Let’s Stick Together - which produced another standing ovation - and the Sam & Dave cover Hold On I’m Coming.

Let’s hope Ferry doesn’t wait another decade to visit this side of the pond again. He's just too good not to tour more frequently.

SET LIST

The Main Thing

You Can Dance

Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues

Don’t Stop the Dance

If There is Something

Make You Feel My Love

Oh Yeah!

Reason or Rhyme

Like A Hurricane

Tara

Bittersweet

To Turn You On

Kiss And Tell

Avalon

Love Is The Drug

Hold On I’m Coming

Let’s Stick Together

ENCORE:

Jealous Guy

Slave To Love

All Along The Watchtower

 


Photos