From left, Camilleri, Sayer, Clapton and Morris.APIA GOOD TIMES TOUR
FOUR legends on one stage – Russell Morris, Joe Camilleri, Richard Clapton and Leo Sayer.
A packed house, most in the Apia target range (‘‘Celebrating over-50s, living at their best’’ as Glenn Ridge spruiks in the pre-gig video blog), rolled up for a trip down memory lane and the artists did not disappoint.
Backed by the Apia Good Times Band, the boys lifted the roof from start to finish, proving legendary. The songs are certainly soundtracks to multiple generations, but what really cuts it is the live experience.
All four vocalists command the room, riding on the power of a smokin’ backing band in full stride midway through their 18-date tour.
Morris opened with a couple of new tunes (Black Dog Blues, Van Diemen’s Land) before time travelling back to the Real Thing, Sweet Sweet Love and Wings Of An Eagle.
Joe Camilleri (Ain’t Love the Strangest Thing, Harley and Rose, Certified Blue) really impressed before taking it to another level when joined on stage in a surprise visit from Vika Bull for a pumping rendition of Never Let Me Go and Chained To the Wheel.
Clapton took over after the break.
His signature sweet growl contrasted neatly from the earlier performances on anthems like Lucky Country, Girls on the Avenue, Deep Water and a new one off his latest album, Harlequin Nights, Dancing with Vampires.
Leo brought it home with a cavalcade of his hits including More Than I Can Say, When I Need Love, Thunder In My Heart, Dreaming (which he co-wrote with Cliff Richard), and You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.
Yes it was nostalgic, but it’s fair to say the room was humming for nearly three hours.
The four stars and Vika reunited for a finale of tunes including Hush, Shape I’m In, I Am An Island and Good Times.
By the end of it there was no doubting everyone on and off the stage had.
There was a Newcastle connection in the form of bass player Mitch Cairns, who used to play with local bands Qwake and Fumi Boca.
He’s since gone on to perform with many Australian legends and has produced Morris’s latest Aria winning albums, Van Diemen’s Land and Shark Mouth.