Leo Sayer Q&A

Round & About

Leo Sayer talks to Peter Anderson about life and his show at Guildford’s G Live on Thursday, 30th May.

Q. When did you discover your talent for singing? “At a very early age as a boy chorister. I was taught by Father Demot MacHale, an Irish Catholic priest who, years later was also the celebrant at my wedding.”

Q. Who were your musical inspirations?  
“Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Van Morrison and lots of early Delta blues singers.”

Q. Do you remember the first concert you went to? “I think it was Chris Barber’s Jazz Band. I was really young, but my older sister smuggled me into the back of the hall. The highlight was that Lonnie Donnegan was in the band – he was the father of skiffle and sang wonderful old Leadbelly songs, like Midnight Special, during the concert.”

Q. Congratulations on your new album Selfie. What is your process when it comes to writing songs? “It comes from many different methods but mostly I get the ideas in my head and take it from there. Creating the tracks is a slow, gradual process, and since I am doing it all myself now, it requires loads of imagination and plenty of ingenuity. For me the creative process is linked to both the writing and recording.”

Q. What can audiences look forward to in these concerts? Well-known favourites as well as songs from the new album? Who is accompanying you? “We will play a couple of new songs from the album, but mostly it’s the hits and the most popular tracks from the albums. That’s what the audience have come to see. I’ve had the same band for a little while now. Elliot Henshaw plays drums, Dave Day is the guitarist, Stephen Williams is on keyboards, and Richard Hammond plays bass.”

Q. Do you have vocal training to keep your voice in trim on tour? “No, and I never warm up either – I just save it all for the stage.”

Q. Is Guildford a place that brings back good memories? “I played the final gig of the old Civic before they closed it. That was fun because it was an all-star band with Eric Clapton on guitar.”

Q. Is there a location or venue that is still on your wish list to perform at? “Wembley Stadium or Glastonbury would be nice!”

Q. Many people fondly remember your duet with Miss Piggy. Is there anyone else living, dead or fictional with whom you’d love to have a duet with? “Aretha Franklin. I met her once, but we never sang together… She did tell me that she liked my voice, though.”

Q. You have always been good at drawing; do you use art as a way to relax? “It’s more for work – designing record covers and stuff like that. I do find making music is more relaxing.”

Visit www.glive.co.uk or call G Live on 01483 369350. Also check out www.leosayer.com