Leo Sayer Whitley Bay Playhouse 6 October 2022

Leo Sayer is a very underrated songwriter, singer and artist. I remember seeing him in the early days at LEOTIXNewcastle City Hall during the 1970s, several times. Sometime during the 1980s I began to lose faith in him, and started to view him (quite wrongly, on reflection) as a middle-of-the-road artist. But he was always much more than that. I used to play and play his first album Silverbird which contained such classic tracks as “The Dancer” and “Drop Back”. And then, of course, he wrote a lot of songs which were taken up by Roger Daltrey on his self titled album, including “Giving It All Away”. His performance as the Pierrot for “The Show Must Go on” is etched in everyone’s mind. And I love the song “Moonlighting”. The guy was a great storyteller back in the day.

LEO3Over the years Leo has suffered financial difficulties as a result of mismanagement by the late great Adam Faith (now there’s someone I would have loved to see in concert) and now live in Australia. But he is back, here in the UK, touring middle -sized venues on his 50th anniversary tour (is it really 50 years?); back where he belongs, on stage singing those songs. And sing them he does. He looks great, particularly for his 74 years which he is proud to mention, and his voice is really strong.

LEOPROGThe Whitley Bay Playhouse website proudly advertised the show thus: “British music legend Leo Sayer will be touring the UK in 2022 celebrating his 50th anniversary in music. With this performance, Leo and his band bring boundless energy, exuberance and a hit packed show to some of his favourite venues across the country. Known the world over for his army of hits which include Thunder In My Heart, Moonlighting, One Man Band, I Can’t Stop Loving You, More Than I Can Say, Have You Ever Been in Love, The Show Must Go On and the transatlantic number ones, When I Need You and You Make Me Feel Like Dancing. This is a hit packed, high energy evening not to miss!”

LEO4The concert comprises two sets with an interval. He starts off going right back to the beginning with “The Show Must go on” followed by more classic hits: “One Man Band” and “Moonlighting”. Then he does a mix of songs; some containing great blues harmonica and other classic Leo hits. You forget how many chart hits this man had. Set 2 starts with “Thunder in My Heart” and also includes two Beatles songs from his latest album “Eleanor Rigby” and “Across the Universe”. He concludes with a small selection of songs from the Daltrey album including closing track “Giving it all Away”.

A great concert by a great artist who deserves much more recognition. Perhaps his time is returning. I hope so. I remain a fan and I am proud to say so.

LEO1Many thanks to Jackie for the photography.

Setlist: Set 1: The Show Must Go On; One Man Band; Moonlighting; Train; Dancing the Night Away; Raining in My Heart; Have You Ever Been in Love; Bedsitter Land; I Can’t Stop Loving You (Though I Try).

Set 2: Thunder in My Heart; More Than I Can Say; Eleanor Rigby; Across the Universe; You Make Me Feel Like Dancing; When I Need You; Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance); How Much Love; It’s a Hard Life; Giving It All Away.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Paul White on October 11, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    Leo has a history few people know about. In his pre fame days he played in blues bands all over the London area. How do I know? Went to see the Climax Blues Band when I lived in London at the Borderline. Early 90s this was. For the encore they brought out Leo and explained the history. Then did a few blues songs with Leo on vocals and harmonica and he was brilliant. He was basically forgotten at that point. Very talented bloke


    • Posted by vintagerock on October 12, 2022 at 11:43 am

      Thanks Paul I didn’t know that. Leo played a lot of great blues harp at the concert the other night. The guy has many hidden dimensions and is massively underrated best wishes Peter PS the Climax Blues Band are class I saw them many times in the 70s Peter


  2. Hi Peter
    Sayer is indeed an excellent entertainer, and I’m glad to read that he continues to bring smiles and tears to faces.
    It is sad to hear that he has fallen on hard times due to fiscal shenanigans; so many of my old heroes seem to have gone this way.

    He was the first ‘real’ band/act that I can recall seeing (I had seen a few 1960s pop stars as a very young child but don’t remember even a second of those gigs!)
    I caught Sayer at Scarborough in January 1974 on his maiden tour and was generally very impressed.
    Here’s a link to my review of that gig.



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