Music review: Neil Sedaka

A SHOWBIZ voiceover bid us “welcome the songs and voice of Neil Sedaka”. Pointedly, the songs come first, and Sedaka, an old school craftsman, is rightly proud of them, whether bubblegum pop or angsty confessional.
Singer Neil Sedaka. Picture: GettySinger Neil Sedaka. Picture: Getty
Singer Neil Sedaka. Picture: Getty

Neil Sedaka

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow


Some of the best were showcased in an opening montage of the artists who have covered those songs, from Sinatra to The Carpenters, from Elvis to Homer Simpson, which had the audience singing along blithely from the get-go and won Sedaka a deserving standing ovation before he had played a note.

But the voice was in pretty fine fettle too. Sedaka’s trademark high tenor was aged but effortless and entirely suited to the cutesy Oh! Carol and Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, with which he kicked off this oldest swingers’ party, while the immortal Where The Boys Are somewhat bridged the pop culture gap between the self-styled “tra-la-la and dooby-doo” numbers and the fluent singer/songwriter material with which Sedaka revived his career in the 1970s.

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This period yielded some of Sedaka’s most enduring standards and was represented here by set highlights The Hungry Years, Laughter In The Rain and the marvellously melodramatic Solitaire. There was more exquisite easy listening melancholy to come with Our Last Song Together before Sedaka mischievously returned to one of his earliest hits, the novelty rock’n’roller I Go Ape, the cheery but cheesy Amarillo and an untitled new number to boost his existing catalogue of over 800 songs, still flowing and growing after all these years.

Seen on 31.10.14