Roxy Music return to Montreux festival after 37 years

Sat Jul 3, 2010 12:54pm EDT
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By Jason Rhodes

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters Life!) - British art rockers Roxy Music have returned to the Montreux Jazz Festival with a vintage performance of favorites, 37 years after their first and only previous appearance.

Roxy Music, flanked on stage by four backing singers in body-hugging, off-the-shoulder dresses, staged a show at the Swiss festival Friday that oozed sex and excitement.

Singer Bryan Ferry was joined by original members Phil Manzanera on guitar, saxophonist and oboist Andy Mackay and drummer Paul Thompson, as well as eight other musicians in a band that spanned the generations -- as did the Montreux crowd at the 44th festival's opening night headline concert.

"I know Roxy Music from the 1970s and 80s, but this is the first time I'll watch them live," said German fan Juergen Gaus.

"The atmosphere is something really magical and the location right next to Lake Geneva is really special," added Georg Soukopp, one of a group of Gaus's friends that traveled from Stuttgart for the gig.

Jazz-fusion and rock guitarist John McLaughlin and drummer Billy Cobham also staged an unexpected reunion after 30 years without playing together, as opening act Melissa auf der Maur failed to show up after missing her plane in Canada.

Festival founder Claude Nobs, looking tanned and well in a snow-white suit and matching trilby despite recent health problems, said he called McLaughlin and Cobham at the last minute to arrange their jam session.

"Claude Nobs is the master of the plan B," said compere Alex Bugnon, a local jazz pianist and composer brought in this year to lighten the workload for Nobs, who is now in his 70s.   Continued...

<p>Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry (C) performs next to guitarist Phil Manzanera (L) and saxophonist Andy MacKay during the 44th Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux July 2, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>