Leo Sayer performing his Leo Sayer: Just a Boy At 70 Tour at The Town Hall Birmingham on Saturday 1st June 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

With no fanfare, just a huge roar from the crowd, Leo Sayer, a pint sized bundle of energy took to the stage at The Town Hall, Birmingham last night as he belted out his big and boisterous hit, Thunder In My Heart.

Dressed in a lilac jacket and his trademark curly hair, it was clear from the cheers of this near sold-out crowd that they were really excited to see this 71 years young music legend and he did not disappoint.

Slowing the mood right down with follow up song, the crooning More Than I Can Say had the crowd singing along, giving Sayer the opportunity to introduce his very talented four piece band, which comprised of an excellent guitarist, bass player, keyboardist and drummer.

With over sixteen hit albums, and over twenty hit singles to his credit, choosing a set list must have posed a problem. But the crowd were there to hear their favourites and that is just what he delivered.

Showing that he has lost none of that distinctive quality in his voice, it was Train from 1974’s Just A Boy that was given an airing with its slowed down tempo which then quickened up, slowed again and then raced to the finishing line, which simply left this audience breathless.

Hit after hit followed with the likes of One Man Band which had the crowd belting the lyrics back at him, the lovely The Show Must Go On, and his 1975 hit, Moonlighting which saw everyone clapping along and Sayer having absolutely no trouble hitting the high notes.

Restless Years saw him sit centre stage with his harmonica, before Sayer and his band delivered a bluesy interlude with To The River, and Raining In My Heart before finishing the first half with the breathtakingly beautiful, Have You Ever Been In Love.

After a brief interval the second half went into full swing complete with costume change. He introduced a couple of new songs from his latest album which was released earlier this year, the title track, Selfie, Soul Mining and One Step At A Time which showed just how good Sayer is at playing the harmonica.

Mixing the sentimental and the slow hits, Orchard Road was followed by an extended version of You Make Me Feel like Dancing which was mashed up with Sly & The Family Stone’s I Want To Take You Higher and Dance To The Music which for the first time in the evening had everyone up on their feet and partying.

Of course the Town Hall choir was in full force for When I Need You and the delight on Sayers face as the words were sung back at him, was there for all to see. With a very lively run in to the end with the likes of Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance) and the must dance to, How Much Love, the party was in full swing.

For the encore there was Sayer’s version of The Beatles’ Let It Be which saw the Town Hall swathed in mobile phone torches, before Giving It All Away reached out to this appreciative audience as he displayed his enormous vocal range.

The final song of the night, I Can’t Stop Loving You (Though I Try) brought to an end an evening of unadulterated fun, from an artist that never kept still and who with his energy and enthusiasm for his music, puts to shame some artists nearly half his age. On last night’s performance, Sayer really is Just A Boy and long may that remain so.