Sir Cliff Richard rock Sandleford with endless energy
- February 24, 2013
WITH 54 years in the entertainment business and over 250 million record sales under his belt, Sir Cliff Richard has learnt a thing or two about how to please a crowd.
And last night at Sandalford Winery the energetic 72-year-old bundle of charm, cheese and chutzpah showed, with consummate ease, just how it is done.
In fact, he showed rockers half his age how it is done. For over two hours Richard kept up a mindboggling pace from his Reelin’ and a Rockin’ entrance to his encore medley of Do You Wanna Dance and Please Don’t Tease.
In between there were soulful, heartfelt ballads like Suddenly and Sealed With a Kiss, boppy numbers like Devil Woman and Wired for Sound.
With a fabulous tightly knit 8-piece back up band and some smooth male dancers it was part Vegas, part fireside chat, part cabaret and part comedy act, all taking place under a dome of twinkling lights and soaring light beams which magically changed colour to suit the mood.
The audience immediately found their sing-a-long voices when he bounced on stage in a black suit with sequinned lapels showing a talent for comic timing and self deprecation which he kept up all the way through.
“Is there nothing on television tonight?” he asked after Dreaming. He knows how to charm too as he talked about his love of Perth and his endearment to Aussies.
“Paris, my favourite city, second only to Perth,” he said. “Oh, I said that in Sydney too.”
And, with that there was a natural segue to one of the show’s biggest highlights, the introduction of his old mate and living legend - living in Perth, as it happens - Hank B. Marvin from his old backing band, The Shadows.
All of a sudden there he was appearing out of the shadows (boomtish), standing like a musical god at the top of the stairs, centre stage.
He was wearing a black and white jacket, a beaming smile and his famous Stratocaster slung over his shoulder.
The stage lit up as they went down memory lane performing Living Doll, Summer Holiday and The Young Ones, complete with the Shadows fancy footwork that was copied by cabaret bands around the world.
And the guitar work from Hank that inspired musicians like Brian May, Pete Townshend and Chris Rea was featured, close up on giant screens.
Richard was gracious telling the lighting technician to put the spotlight back on his friend when the light dimmed. He described him as a legend.
“Chris Rea once met me and, said “it’s lovely meeting you but could I meet Hank?” said Richard. “I said No!”
Marvin’s appearance was a special interlude. But Richard pulled the audience back and showed exactly why he has endured and why he is always the frontman.
After a short interval he reappeared in casual jeans, sneakers and red jacket and showed how he can still rock it up with the best of them.
There were elements of Elvis, elements of Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury as he performed some of the snappiest dance moves ever seen on anyone, let alone a 72-year-old as he tripped through Down In the Country, Dancing Shoes and I Could Easily Fall in Love with You.
“He must be dead?” he exclaimed after a particularly frenzied romp through We Don’t Talk Anymore.
He was referring to the incredulous French waiter who served him recently in a Parisian restaurant and knew he was famous but didn’t know his name.
“Cliff Rishaaaaard, ‘e must be dead, non?” parodied Richard illustrating, again, his perfect comedy skills.
No, he’s definitely not and he’ll be reelin and a rockin for a long time yet.