Leo Sayer Newcastle City Hall 11th September 1974

Leo Sayer Newcastle City Hall 11th September 1974
leo74tixThis might seem a guilty pleasure today, but trust me, it seemed far from it “back in the day”. Leo Sayer was a pretty cool guy, with a hot debut album “Silverbird”. He first came into the public eye as the guy who appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test dressed as a clown (or in a pierrot style costume, to be precise), co-wrote songs (with David Courtney) for Roger Daltrey’s solo lp including the hit single “Giving it All Away”, and was managed by Adam Faith (another cool guy). Leo’s second single “The Show Must Go On” was of course, a massive hit. He also appeared as support act on tours by Roxy Music and Elton John, which I foolishly missed.
From Leo Sayer’s bio on his website: “the B.B.C. offered Leo a slot on their T.V. rock show, “The Old Grey Whistle Test”.Leo came on the show dressed as the Pierrot and such was the reaction to his performance, the entire business noted that a new star was born.”leo74prog
I had the “Silverbird” album and played in endlessly, my favourite tracks being the rocky “Drop Back”, “Slow Motion” and the very dark, moody, almost scary “Dancer”. Listen to the album, and don’t be put off by Sayer’s later poppier and disco material, it’s classic stuff, he was a great singer-songwriter when he emerged.
I first got to see Leo Sayer when he toured in September 1974, calling at Newcastle City Hall. By then the clown outfit had gone; Leo, his songs and his excellent band were strong enough to stand in their own right. The tour came just before the release of his second album “Just a Boy”. I was hooked, particularly on seeing him perform “Dancer”. Support for the UK tour came from Wally, a progressive rock band from Harrogate, who were presumably named after the festival chant.
Sputnik music says of the “Silverbird” album: “The first – and, in this reviewer’s opinion, only worthwhile – album from British artist Leo Sayer. Few people know that before Leo Sayer became the white-fro sporting King of Disco, he was an artist……”Silverbird” is very dark and depressing at its heart. It’s a concept album, in that the themes of isolation and sadness weave each of the songs together. I would give this album a 4 out of 5. This is a side of Sayer we only see briefly in his follow up album “Just A Boy,” and then it dies, replaced by a bad disco singer who sold out.”

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Gordon Jelley on March 28, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Cannot agree more with your description of Leo Sayer. Fantastic album Silver Bird, and good enough for Roger Daltrey to record.
    The pop songs that followed were not up to his earlier stuff, but his voice still had an edge , worth listening to.
    Did I dream that Peter Asher was involved in production of some of his work? My son has the vinyl copy of S.B. , never to seen by me again , it seems!


    • Posted by vintagerock on March 28, 2021 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Gordon

      I agree totally. Leo Sayer was a true artist in the early days. Listen to “the dancer”. Now he is very underrated and much maligned. Strange how help our perception of artists change over time. I remember the time when Roy Orbison couldn’t fill cabaret venues; then he suddenly became a legend. Listen to Silverbird again; my friend. Happy days Peter


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