For those following the fortunes of one Bryan Ferry, from Roxy Music to reunions and last year's "Olympia" solo-album, the announcement from the singer that his next project would involve '20s jazz-arrangements of his own songs and, more to the point, the formation of his own orchestra to carry it all off, without his dulcet croon an accompaniment, might come as a shock. To learn that he's also celebrating his 40th year as a solo artist with a full UK tour, probably won't - there's a lot of catalogue to wade through, for a start!
Bryan Ferry released his first solo album in 1973. Entitled "These Foolish Things", the entire set marked something of a departure from his usual glam-rockery found on Roxy Music records - it was all cover-versions, done in a smooth, languid style, with a few songs extracted from shows, rock and soul's deep vaults. The title-track came from the '30s, while others included Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and The Rolling Stones and while follow-up solo albums followed suit with more cover-versions, the 40-year old album stands up today as perhaps Ferry's most-refined homage to another age - until now, perhaps.
This week (26th November 2012), Bryan has temporarily hung up his mike to piece together and co-ordinate "The Jazz Age", an album of 13 Roxy and Ferry songs given a scat, ragtime and spatz make-over. The man himself isn't on the project and it's unlikely that much of the album will ever get aired outside of the usual Ferry circle of fans. The idea doesn't seem so strange when you note the first instrumental as being "Do the Strand" - it's a dance in itself. Someone on Strictly is bound to give it a go.
Giving it a go in 2013 will be Ferry himself with a full UK tour announced on the back of "The Jazz Age". He'll be appearing at various large venues across the UK, starting with Salford on 26th October 2013, followed by the likes of Nottingham, Ipswich, Cambridge and many more until Plymouth on 23rd November. The London show will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on 4th November, after which he will become Ferry across the Mersey (sorry, couldn't resist it) in Liverpool on the 6th.
Tickets will go on sale at various prices from 10am on Friday 30th November. Expect a career-spanning show and maybe just a bit of the Jazz Age mixed in - with Ferry in person this time.