Shoreham-born Leo Sayer heads back to the country and county of his birth for a date at Worthing’s Assembly Hall on May 18.
Leo, who went to school in Goring, will also play Portsmouth’s New Theatre Royal on May 23 and Guildford’s G-Live on May 30, all part of his Just a Boy at 70 tour.
Now performing in what will be his sixth decade as a musician, Leo has racked up 11 UK top ten (two number one) and four US top ten (two, consecutive number one) hit singles; six UK top Ten (one number one) and one US top ten album; and a Grammy Award, in 1977, for You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, winning the award for Best Rhythm and Blues Song.
“I count myself very lucky to have a wonderful band at home in the UK,” says Leo. “I always look forward to coming back to perform. From Soho to Brighton by way of Cornwall to Glasgow, I like searching out all the places I used to haunt and see if they’ve changed. Many haven’t at all, under the surface. “
In addition to his UK tour, Leo released his brand-new album Selfie on April 26 through Demon Music Group.
He might be living in Australia now, a naturalised Australian, but, as he says, he’s still a Sussex boy at heart, thrilled at the thought of the plaque which commemorates the fact that it was in Worthing that he wrote the song Moonlighting – a song which even references Montague Street in its lyric.
“I went down to Montague Street in Worthing where I wrote Moonlighting, and I had a lovely surprise. Now it is a lovely walking street, and Worthing is just all gorgeous... and somebody had put this plaque up to say this is where Leo Sayer wrote Moonlighting.
“I spent a lot of my life time down in that part of the world,” says Leo. “I went to school in Goring, and I used to party in Bognor and Littlehampton. I used to go along to the Shoreline club in Bognor.
“I was born in Shoreham, and I went to art college in Worthing. My secondary school was in Goring. It was a horrendous journey every day. I was frequently late and often got the cane.
“But I was very good at art. My art teacher got me through, and I got A level art. I managed to get through OK, but the rest of the academic stuff didn’t sit very well for me. Years later I was discovered to be profoundly dyslexic.
“I couldn’t co-ordinate. But it was fine. I lived in my own dream world. I started creating great pieces of art and writing great operas in my head. But the music was there first in a way. In St Peter’s Church, there was a wonderful priest that had a marvellous singing voice. I used to think that he was a born singer. He taught me the fundamentals of using breathing. I became a boy soprano.
“Towards the end, I was singing with the school band, and when I went to art school, I started playing harmonica. When I went to London straight after art school, but I didn’t think music would be a good career. I thought I would get ripped off, which I did – but that’s another story. I just didn’t think that I would make a living from it. “