The Show Must Go On! Sayer treats Bilston to early hits

Leo Sayer performed at the Robin 2 in Bilston on Saturday. Find out what our reviewer thought of the British singer-songwriter.

The 570-strong crowd was more a backing band than audience as they belted out hit after hit. And the reaction came as no surprise to the pint-sized singer who was lapping up the adulation.

Leo Sayer is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his first album and although he has not been making records consistently since then, he has, nonetheless, a pretty extensive back catalogue.

What the singer lacks in stature, he makes up for in repertoire, and this did not mean a play list entirely drenched in nostalgia. The set also included some impressive new material.

He kicked off with The Show Must Go On, the song that catapulted him to fame in the early 70s when he dressed as Pierrot in clown's costume and make-up.

Moonlighting, One Man Band, Orchard Road and Giving It All Away were all part of the first hour-long set. Among his new songs, a catchy number called Train and Hold On To the Shadows, featuring the singer playing a soulful Blues Harp, stood out.

After the interval came some more anthemic oldies. If the crowd were not already on their feet then the opening chords of I Feel A Thunder In My Heart, I Can Dance, and his two UK number ones, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing and When I Need You, would certainly have got them there.

Other highlights included Buddy Holly's It's Raining In My Heart which featured a five-minute instrumental play-off between Sayer on Blues Harp again and his lead guitarist.

There was only one dodgy moment when the singer called the audience Brummies but hey, it's a mistake any 65-year-old who has spent the last few years living in Australia might make. Otherwise the audience of mainly over-50s spent much of the time chanting his name.

Sayer is backed by a talented band and his rapport with them enhanced the evening's entertainment. A slo-mo sequence they performed during one number went down so well, they repeated it as they left the stage following a two-song encore.

By Marion Brennan

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