Roxy Music - Manchester Evening News Arena - 20.6.01

Nostalgia is such an ugly word but its something we can't avoid however hard we try. Its as long as the day and for every kid who raves about the latest sensation they will be hundreds more reminiscing about the Beatles. You can see both sides of the argument but to quote Chuck D "Elvis never meant shit to me!!!" and that remains true today that while The Best Record Of All Time may throw up the usual suspects of Beatles, Stones and Radiohead there's millions out there that would say Tupac or B.I.G. It just goes to show never trust opinion polls or statistics!!!

Roxy Music comes from that era of pop music that was perhaps innocent and pure, original and life affirming, and was made by kids in bedrooms rather than pre-packaged pop farms. It seems churlish to mention it but when the kids of today are force-fed Hear'say or S Club 7 and you look back and we had Roxy Music, Bowie and T-Rex hitting the top 40 you really have to ask is music really that bad? What Brian Eno has to say remains unsaid but you can bet your bottom dollar he's a lot more conservative than we'd all imagine - you only have to look at the fact he's produced James virtually constantly for the past decade so he's certainly not the innovator he once was.

As someone who wasn't there first time round its surprising to find that some of the old faves are omitted. "More Than This" an absolute must in any fans mind is cruelly looked over in favour of early material. However "Virginia Plain", "Love Is The Drug" and "Do The Strand" are saved for a fitting finale complete with dancers from the Moulin Rouge - its perhaps the only extravagance in the whole performance which is marked by the traditional cinematic effects of the 70s. But when you have music of this standard you don't need special effects or a staged show. Even so you only need to look at Brian Ferry to see a real star - admittedly he can't dance for toffee - and I haven't seen a man of his age excite the ladies so much since Tom Jones last year. When we look back at the nineties and the noughties you have to think just who will be remembered as fondly as our parents generations idols. Maybe Robbie Williams, Kylie and the Gallagher brothers but that's about it. Its sad really and were the ones that sit there and except - you want stars then you better go and do it yourself!!!!

Alex McCann