When I told all and sundry that I was going to watch a concert by Leo Sayer, the usual question was Leo who?

A star of the seventies and early eighties with songs like You make me feel like dancing and Orchard Road, Mr Sayer disappeared off the radar and the older generation fans all but forgot about him, while a new generation never even heard of him.

Well, last night Mr Leo Sayer made a triumphant return to the Teatro stage at Montecasino and gave us a lesson in music. This rocking geriatric (he’s 69 years old) pulled out all the stops and from the moment this diminutive figure walked onto the stage, he had the audience in the palm of his hand. What a welcome return it was.

With his One man band, formed mostly by South African musicians, including his musical director from Australia, he took the packed Teatro on an energy filled tour of hits old and new. From the first notes, we were assured we were in capable hands and it was a joy to hear that Mr Sayer’s voice is in excellent condition and still capable of reaching those note we love and adore him for.

Starting with The Show Must Go On from his 1974 album Silverbird, it was a tour de force, fueled in part by a flask of “Rooibos sprinkled with biltong”. Joking about his age, he sang one song after the other, building up momentum and taking the joyful audience in the palm of his hand from one song to the next.

When the harmonica came out, the audience was transported to another level and quite simply blown away by this little old man with this massive talent, growing more youthful and energetic in front of our eyes.

The band was in top form, not putting one foot wrong, and it was incredible to see them performing as if they had been doing this for many years.

The second half started with a costume change and some slower songs, including a romantic duet with his very beautiful and talented backup singer (also proudly South African), before the band turned up the heat with a rousing rendition of Dreamin’, the hit song Leo wrote for Cliff Richard many years ago. This swiftly turned into a disco-dance-along with Thunder In My Heart, followed by the smash hit You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, and the audience was swept away by Mr Sayer’s powerful voice and energetic performance.

Let it be said we did not want to let him go and he performed encore after encore.

What an incredible night. Laughter. tears, dancing and a feeling of elation when it was all over. This is one of the best performances of singer I have ever witnessed and it will be one of my fondest memories for years to come.

If you do not have tickets yet, pray they are not sold out. Only two shows left, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April at the Teatro at Montecasino.

What a show! We should call him Leo Slayer from now on.

Brava!

To listen to an interview with Mr Sayer, click here 

Hendrik Baird

GaySA Radio

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