Leo Sayer @ Town Hall, 1st June 2019

Leo Sayer @ Town Hall, 1st June 2019Leo Sayer @ Town Hall, 1st June 2019Leo Sayer @ Town Hall, 1st June 2019Leo Sayer @ Town Hall, 1st June 2019Leo Sayer @ Town Hall, 1st June 2019Leo Sayer @ Town Hall, 1st June 2019Leo Sayer @ Town Hall, 1st June 2019Leo Sayer @ Town Hall, 1st June 2019Leo Sayer @ Town Hall, 1st June 2019

Just a boy at 70. This is Leo Sayer and it’s also the name of his tour. Leo came to the Town Hall in Birmingham to win people’s hearts (as if he hasn’t already) with his incredible voice and his harmonica. Slow notes and disco beats created a magical night filled with dance and smiles. If you don’t recognise the name immediately, you will definitely recognise some of his songs and probably sing along.  He started his career in the 70s and most of the audience was composed of people who were young at that time and have experienced his music throughout his artistic journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He opened the night with ‘Thunder in my Heart’, one of the hits from the first years of his career. This song was made in a different style as it was influenced by the ideas of his producer at the time, as he said in an interview. He was wearing a jacket from the beginning and when he asked if he should take it off, the audience starting playing along while he was slowly undressing.

Leo combines a soulful, powerful voice with lyrics with deep meaning, as in ‘To the river’, which is about musical freedom and the ability to express himself creatively, while saying how he’s only taking an old guitar and his harmonica to go to the river.

Have you ever seen an electric guitar competing with a harmonica? While playing ‘Raining in my heart’ (Buddy Holly cover), Leo’s harmonica’s bluesy notes got more and more intense while keeping up with energetic guitar riffs for at least five minutes, leaving everyone breathless. He ended the first part of the night with ‘Have you ever been in love’ as he announced that it’s time for a love song, love being one of the most common themes for his lyrics.

After the break, Leo came back on stage, shouting: “Let there be war!”. He had changed his outfit, now wearing his ‘Thunder in my heart’ t-shirt. He played ‘One step at the time’, followed by ‘Selfie’, both of them being part of his new album, released this year. After the cheers and whistles following the song, Leo announced that “Now we’re going to go to a special place called Orchard Road” as he started playing the song released in 1983.

“Who feels like dancing?” he shouted, asking everyone to stand up. People began to dance and sing along to ‘You make me feel like dancing’, the hit released on his second album, in 1976, followed by ‘When I Need You’ (Albert Hammond cover).
Going back to his first album ever, ‘Just a boy’, he played ‘Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)’, which goes from feeling like he can’t dance to hitting the floor and being more confident in himself.

‘How Much Love’ ended the second part of the concert, the love song leaving everyone in the audience asking for more, while Leo and the rest of the band left the stage. After ten minutes of applause, Leo was back on stage and told everyone that he loved them and how gorgeous they were.

The encore was three songs long. First he played ‘Let it be’, The Beatles cover but with an original rhythm and different notes.

After starting to sing ‘Giving it all away’, also from the time when he was ‘Just a boy’, Leo says that he’s still making the same mistakes as when he was a child; that he did some good things and some really bad things, but he’s still a child inside, still good to the core!. He is still a boy at 70, so he can do whatever he wants and it feels good. Before going back to the song, he said: “What’s to worry about right now? I’m just sitting in front of you a beautiful audience. Thank you for your love and kindness.”

 

After expressing his love, he ended the night with ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You (Though I Try)’, melting everyone’s hearts. He asked the rest of the band to join him at the front of the stage and they all bowed.

Leo proved his authentic and funny personality the whole night when someone from the crowd shouted “I love you”, he replied with “I love you too, mom”, making everyone laugh. It was an absolute treat to see him in this setting and until next time, we “Cant Stop Loving You” Leo.

Set 1
Thunder in My Heart
More Than I Can Say (The Crickets cover)
Train
One Man Band
The Show Must Go On
Moonlighting
Restless Years
To The River
Raining in My Heart (Buddy Holly cover)
Have You Ever Been in Love

Set 2
One Step at a Time
Selfie
Orchard Road
You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
When I Need You (Albert Hammond cover)
Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)
How Much Love

Encore:
Let It Be (The Beatles cover)
Giving It All Away
I Can’t Stop Loving You (Though I Try)

Review and Photographs: Andra Tudoran

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