It might have been the coldest day of the year (so far!) in Melbourne but that didn't keep the fans away from the Leo Sayer and Lulu concert at Hamer Hall on Friday night. A long-time fan of Leo Sayer, I have seen him perform numerous times, and have never gone away disappointed.
Leo is one of those entertainers who can keep any crowd happy with a long resume of hit songs and friendly banter. And Friday night’s show was no different except for the fact that, on this occasion, Leo was joined by none other than Scottish songstress Lulu and I had never had the opportunity to see Lulu perform before. At first, it seemed an odd pairing but the two artists not only worked well together, they were in fact a perfect match; their voices complementing each other in the numerous duets throughout the show and there was a chemistry between the two on stage that really worked as they laughed and joked and exchanged knowing glances and smiles that spoke volumes without words.
The show began with three duets, opening with Leo’s ‘Thunder in My Heart’, ‘Relight My Fire’ (which Lulu recorded with boy band Take That in 1993) and Leo’s ‘Have You Ever Been in Love’. Then Lulu gave the stage to her singing partner who sang a few of his most popular songs ‘More Than I Can Say’, ‘One Man Band’ and ‘Dancing the Night Away’, which he noted is not in his usual set list so I was delighted that he included this one on Friday night as it’s one of my personal favourites. Then Leo left the stage as Lulu sang a Bowie song that she had recorded with the late singer over forty years ago, ‘The Man Who Ruled the World’. She told us that she was a bit of a latecomer to the world of song writing, as she introduced a couple of her own compositions. Co-written with her brother, Bill Lawrie, ‘Where the Poor Boys Dance’ and ‘I Don’t Want to Fight’. The latter was a hit for Tina Turner in 1993 but I have to admit I wasn’t aware that Lulu co-wrote the song. You learn something new every day! Leo joined her for this one which was another highlight of the show for me. They performed a couple more duets to close the first set.
When the two singers returned for the second set, Lulu took the lead on a medley of Bee Gees classics, with Leo on backing vocals and she shared some stories of her time married to Bee Gee Maurice Gibb. In fact, throughout the night, Lulu shared with us a series of fascinating back stories as she introduced song after song, giving us a small glimpse into her life in a world that the rest of us could only dream of. There was another duet before Lulu left the stage and Leo sang a mixture of old and new songs, the new being ‘Beautiful Year’ which, if I’m not mistaken, was the only track from his recent album ‘Restless Years’. The remainder of his set consisted of classic Leo Sayer hits from his rather impressive catalogue of material including such old favourites as ‘Moonlighting’ and ‘Long ‘Tall Glasses’ . One of the highlights for me was the duet ‘Rock Steady’ which Bryan Adams recorded as a duet with Bonnie Raitt in the 90s and Leo and Lulu carried it off to perfection on Friday night.
I think it would be fair to say that one of the most highly anticipated moments was Lulu’s performance of ‘To Sir With Love’, the theme from the 60s movie of the same name starring Sidney Poitier. The audience was completely mesmerised as the singer proved that she still very much owns the song and I think it goes without saying that she always will. Simply beautiful!
There were two more duets to close the show. Bob Seger’s ‘We’ve Got Tonight’ and finally, one of Leo’s biggest hits from the 80s that has become a classic love song, ‘When I Need You’, another amazing duet from the two singers.
There was no way, of course, that the Hamer Hall audience was going to let Leo and Lulu go without at least a couple more songs from their combined repertoire and so they returned for the encore, the very upbeat ‘Shout’ which was a hit for Lulu in 1964 and the finale, Leo’s ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ and, at this point, everyone was.
by Sharyn Hamey
For those who are interested, here is the set list from Friday's show:
1. THUNDER IN MY HEART (DUET)
2. RE-LIGHT MY FIRE (DUET)
3. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE (DUET)
4. MORE THAN I CAN SAY (LEO)
5. ONE MAN BAND (LEO)
6. DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY (LEO)
7. THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD (LULU)
8. POOR BOYS (LULU)
9. I DON'T WANT TO FIGHT (DUET)
10. THE BOAT THAT I ROW (DUET)
11. TAKE ME TO THE RIVER (DUET)
1. BEE GEES MEDLEY (LULU – LEO B/V)
3. OH ME OH MY (DUET)
3. BEAUTIFUL YEAR (LEO)
4. MOONLIGHTING (LEO)
5. LONG TALL GLASSES (LEO)
6. ROCK STEADY (DUET)
7. HOUND DOG (DUET)
8. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (LULU)
9. TO SIR WITH LOVE (LULU)
10. WE’VE GOT TONIGHT (DUET)
11. WHEN I NEED YOU (DUET)
1. SHOUT (DUET)
2. YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE DANCING (DUET)
Check out our gallery for more photos from Friday night's show.
There are still a few more shows remaining on the Leo & Lulu Australian Tour.
Click here for more information and to book your tickets.