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Exclusive: Leo Sayer Talks To CWN

Leo SayerLeo Sayer will be performing in Coventry tomorrow, before heading off for a nice digital Christmas working hard in his studio.

Rather than take the festive season as a time to put his feet up he will be getting new material ready to release in 2001.

“I’m not much of a Christmas person,” he said. “It reminds me of working.”

Working throughout the holiday season is an occupational hazard when you’re an international pop legend. With various projects under his belt this year he is taking the chance of the phone stopping from ringing – and possibly his Yorkie stopping barking - to get some new tunes sung into his computer.

Leo will be wrapping up his public efforts for the year at Jumpin Jaks at Coventry SkyDome.

He’ll be singing all his best-known hits to a backing tape – a different show to going out on the road with a band, and different from an all-starts band he played with earlier this year when he sang with the likes of Paul Young, Tony Hadley and ex-Queen drummer Roger Taylor.

It’s part of a mini-tour of Jumpin Jaks venues throughout the country, with Coventry touted as the “jewel in the crown”.

Leo said:

“I’m looking forward to it. I never get tired of singing my songs. Most of the records made today, maybe with the exception of David Gray, are made for money. They’re just a marketing plan – that’s why they all sound alike.

“Oddly, I had a feeling when I was writing my songs in the 70s that they would still be credible today. That’s the lasting pleasure that people like Bob Dylan and The Eagles gave people, and I approach song-writing in the same way.”

Despite his disdain for many of today’s plastic pop acts, Leo doesn’t look down on youth culture. In fact he’s used to being older than his audience, and playing a venue like Jumpin Jaks holds no fears for him.

“I don’t feel my age at all. I can’t believe I’m 52 and I hardly know anyone my own age.

“I’ve always been older than my audience. I’m hosting a programme on New Year’s Eve called I Love The Seventies, but I missed most of it at the time.

“I was over in America while things like Choppers and Star Dust were popular, and they were for kids. I was a lot older than that – my time was in the Sixties.”

So appearing on shows like the Pepsi Chart when You Make Me feel Like Dancing was remixed in 1997 wasn’t an odd feeling?

“I’ve got a lot of rock’n’roll and blues influences, and if you listen to something like Who Let The Dogs out its actually pretty-much an old Coasters record if you analyse it. We all come from the same place.”

In fact, new ideas and new technology excites Leo, who now records straight into a computer and uses digital compression to slightly distort his voice.

”I don’t like things sounding too crisp. We shouldn’t let the easiness of the new technology fool us into thinking we don’t have to work hard. Real work is still very hard to do, but it is different – you have to do different things with a computer.”

So, expect something new from Leo soon then. But as an album?

“I don’t know if an album’s the most appropriate thing now. Maybe it will go straight onto computer and people can MP3 me!”
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CWN / Tourism & Leisure / SkyDome Coventry / 18 Dec 00
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