Leo Sayer

Leo Sayer

Leo Sayer

Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

by

Peter Grant

He bounced on stage to the sounds of Dancing the Night Away and for the next two joyful, sparkling hours Leo Sayer proved why he is one of the most enduring of pop stars.

In an exclusive interview I did with him he had told me that we would all have ‘fun’.

He was as good as his word.

Before he took to the stage the sell-out audience were treated to support act, Ben Maggs. Ben illustrated why he is a musician to look out and listen for.

Leo, sporting a black jacket, jeans and red plimsolls, has incredible energy for a 68 year-old.

He also has an amazing back-catalogue of classics to dip into.

And he roared on the greatest hits that kept on coming and coming.

The Show Must Go On, Long Tall Glasses, Moonlighting, How Much Love and the global mega-hit You Make Me Feel Like Dancing had the wide-aged group audience on their feet, I was transported back to my disco days in 1976 and to the She Club in Liverpool. Magical memories.

He was part of the soundtrack of my life and – as he whimsically pointed out – to many of those in the aisles.

Leo was a 70s and 80s hit-making machine and his voice is a strong and versatile as notably on the auto-biographical One Man Band and More Than I Can Say.

But he is still recording and he sat down to sing two tracks from his critically-acclaimed 2015 Restless Years album.

His four piece-band – including his keyboard player from Birkenhead – were slick and polished from start to finish especially on a harmonica-based, blues version of Raining In My Heart.

The ballads were delivered with Leo’s trademark theatrical flourishes- the ones he made when singing Orchard Road and Have You Ever Been in Love on numerous Top of The Pops appearances.

Leo chatted in between songs asking why there weren’t any hecklers in?

That is asking for trouble on Merseyside, but he’s a pro and he is a past master of on-stage patter.

There was a lot of love and respect out there for this multi-talented star and he loved the reception.

He sipped from a flask of hot ginger tea and recalled his ‘Old Brighton’ roots and how now here he was in ‘New’ Brighton.

It was a masterclass concert.

This was not a nostalgia gig but a performer live and kicking in 2017 and clearly relishing being still at the top of his game.

The encores saw Let It Be and the poignant Giving it All Away.

He bowed just like his famous pierrot clown guise that he adopted back in 1973.

The show must – and will – always go on for this remarkable singer-songwriter.

Leo – The Lion Heart

(5 / 5)

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