They say disco died in 1979, but try telling that to Leo Sayer.
The British disco-pop legend, who has called Australia home since 2005, is still blown away by the reception he receives around the world, decades after he ruled the charts globally some 40 years ago.
Renowned for his energy and stage-presence, Sayer’s live shows are something of legend; and hearing him wax lyrical about live performance, it’s clear why his reputation precedes him.
“They just get better and better to perform over time. Plenty of my contemporaries just try to sing the record, but we try to take them to different places every time.
“I think Bruce Springsteen is very similar to me, that song grows as your career goes on and you keep finding new ways to perform it.
“That’s why my live performances are so recognised, there’s still that same energy that went into creating the song,” he says.
Sayer describes the process of songwriting as akin to being locked away in a vacuum, in stark contrast to sharing your music with fans on stage.
“The dichotomy of the two art forms is one of the most wonderful things I have,” he says.
Performing at the Canberra Theatre on 22 February, Sayer, who lives in the NSW countryside between Canberra and Sydney, says he always loves coming to town.
“It’s a quick hop to Canberra so we always go up to the NGA, we regularly take a day to go up there.”
Sayer says he’s got mates in the area, including former professional racing driver and Queanbeyanite Mark Webber’s dad.
“There’s a few connections and whenever I’m in town I try to catch up with the Webbers.”
He also fondly remembers becoming an Australian citizen in Canberra in 2009, which culminated in him performing live at Stage 88.
“Doing the concert on Australia Day 2009 was just an amazing experience; I had one hand on the microphone, one hand on the flag. Amazing.”
Leo Sayer’s Just a Boy at 70 Tour will be at The Playhouse on 22 February; canberratheatrecentre.com.au