The Resident’s Linda Reeve and husband Michael were invited to the Pine Cliffs Summer Gala at the Sheraton Algarve to watch a concert by king of cool Bryan Ferry and his Roxy Music band. Here, Michael tells us about a very special evening.
The first thing to say about the Pine Cliffs Summer Gala is that, from start to finish, it was an excellent evening. The venue, which we had never visited before, the staff, the food and, of course, the entertainment were outstanding.
We arrived in time for the champagne cocktails, but had no idea where to go. We didn’t have to worry though, because the staff on duty in the car park were extremely pleasant and helpful, a theme which ran throughout the entire evening.
We were directed to the hotel garden and were impressed by the beautiful setting for the evening. For some reason, we hadn’t expected the concert to be outdoors – or Linda wouldn’t have worn those heels. We took a place at our table and waited to find out who would be sitting with us. We were joined by a delightful trio – Lynn, Morag and René who came from Sta Bárbara de Nêxe. Introductions were made and we all set about attacking the buffet. The food was superb, with all tastes accommodated for, from Thai to Mexican, and various stops in between.
The excellent warm up act, who were never introduced but who provided a very pleasant musical backdrop to the start of the evening, finished their task and made way for the main event.
Whether you were a diehard fan of Roxy Music, a 40 something who was in for some nostalgia or just someone who went for a night out, you could not have been disappointed. I don’t know whether Bryan Ferry looked 60 when he was 30, or looks 30 now he is 60, but he hasn’t changed from what I could see.
There are two musicians who most people would have classed as the kings of cool in the ‘70s and ‘80s – they are Robert Palmer and Bryan Ferry. Palmer is sadly no longer with us, but I can tell you that Bryan Ferry is still Mr. Cool! With his trademark suit, undone tie and shock of black hair, he and his band spent the evening turning back the clock and the audience loved every minute of it.
With his fellow Roxy Music members, Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay, he treated us to two hours of classic songs like Virginia Plain, Avalon, Jealous Guy and Let’s Stick Together. It’s a shame that the dancing area was so small, because I’m sure that many more of the 800 or so people who attended would have loved to join us in front of the stage to Dance Away – which they didn’t sing – the evening.
They went off to rapturous applause and there were shouts for more. While we were chanting for them to return, a wonderful lady called Barbara from Pitlochry, who told us that she was his biggest fan, had travelled all over to attend their shows and now had come to the Algarve just to see this concert, informed us that Bryan would come back to do two more songs.
Well, the band must have been enjoying the evening as much as the audience was, because they came back and did three, finishing with Love is the Drug. Barbara was as amazed as we were delighted and the audience went wild. The evening finished at around 12.45am and we said goodbye to our new friends and set off home.
This was the ninth Summer Gala that Pine Cliffs have hosted. It was a wonderful night, which we will remember for a long time to come. Pine Cliffs are to be congratulated for presenting such a wonderful event.
Messrs. Ferry, Manzanera and Mackay, along with their excellent band, are to be congratulated for providing fabulous entertainment and my fellow revellers are to be congratulated for adding the atmosphere to a very special night.
Concert review by Michael Reeve