Leo Sayer-One Night in Sydney: Live at The Basement (2002)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 30-Jul-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Featurette-Leo Sayer-The Show Must Go On...
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 76:22 (Case: 99)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Simon Francis
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Leo Sayer
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Leo Sayer


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Leo Sayer - One Night In Sydney: Live At The Basement is another in the series of concerts recorded in the confines of the famous Sydney nightspot. This concert features diminutive pop star Leo Sayer and his band. It was recorded on October 17, 2002 and was simultaneously webcast to the world via the Internet.

    Leo Sayer (whose real name is Gerard Sayer) enjoyed much chart success in his native United Kingdom, the United States, and here in Australia throughout much of the 1970s. The name Leo was coined by the wife of his early producer in response to Gerard's mass of curly hair, which reminded her of a lion's mane. His first album Silverbird, which was released in 1973, was met with a warm response from critics and fans alike. The song Show Must Go On proved to be a hit and climbed to Number 2 on the UK charts. His next album, Just A Boy, released in 1974 was also successful and contained the top ten hits One Man Band and Long Tall Glasses. Other albums and hits followed, with songs such as Moonlighting, When I Need You, More Than I Can Say, and You Make Me Feel Like Dancing (the latter winning a Grammy in 1977). To say that Leo Sayer's songs made an impact on the 70s is unquestionable. He managed to cross several styles, with glam, pop, ballad and disco elements in his music, not to mention that his songs featured memorable and catchy tunes and hooks that you just could not help singing along with. His songs are instantly recognisable and have since their release been featured in many commercials, so even if you don't recognise the titles, you will surely remember the tunes. My dad is a big Leo Sayer fan, and I remember him playing his vinyl LP copy of the 1976 album Endless Flight (the album with Leo leaping out of the album cover) endlessly (now there's a pun there somewhere).

    This performance was staged almost thirty years after the release of Silverbird, and it is soon apparent that Leo Sayer has lost none of his enthusiasm or passion for his music, despite passing the age of fifty. Almost all his big hits are featured here and together with his band he rocks on for over an hour. The audience is small and enthusiastic and some even join him on stage for a couple of the songs. I'm not usually a fan of artists that fall victim to the nostalgia act syndrome and live for past glories, but this is most definitely not the case with Leo Sayer. He really does enjoy singing and performing and he is still doing it to such a high standard, with tunes that are so memorable, that you cannot help but get swept up and tap along.

    The following songs are performed in the seventy-six minute show.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. Giving It All Away
2. Thunder In My Heart
3. Blame It On The Night
4. One Man Band
5. Moonlighting
6. Show Must Go On
7. Bedsitterland
8. More Than I Can Say
9. Orchard Road
10. Raining In My Heart
11. Reflections
12. Easy To Love
13. Feel Like Dancing
14. When I Need You
15. Long Tall Glasses
16. How Much Love

Transfer Quality

Video

    I was not overly impressed with the video transfer on offer, which suffers from video artefacts in the form of poor black levels and constant low level and chroma noise throughout. It has been captured direct to video, and the poor and cramped lighting conditions certainly don't help.

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, this transfer is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is about as sharp as can be expected, and is best described as average without being spectacular. There are no examples of edge enhancement that I could detect, which is a bonus. Shadow detail does suffer a couple of times, but to be fair, these are only when Leo Sayer jumps off stage and runs through the audience. With there being virtually no lighting available here, he simply disappears into the gloom. The negative side of this transfer is that low level and chroma noise dominate throughout much of the show. They are the most distracting artefacts present and result in some mild pixelization throughout. The microphone used by Leo Sayer exhibits a conspicuous moiré effect for most of the show, with a slight whiff of aliasing also present on it.

    The colour palette is decent enough, though it is also hampered by the dim lighting in The Basement. There is little vibrancy even when the intense red lighting is used on occasion. A washed-out shade of grey makes up most of the area away from the main stage lights, which certainly adds to the dull look.

    There are unfortunately no subtitles available.

    This is a single layered disc, so there is no layer change to negotiate.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one audio soundtrack present on this DVD, this being a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at the higher bitrate of 448 Kb/s. It features excellent separation across all speakers, with clear lyrics and dialogue. There are no audio sync problems. I enjoyed this track immensely, and found it to be on-par with most of the other 5.1 concert tracks I have heard.

    The music on offer from Leo Sayer and his band covers most of his hits and fans and those with a passing interest in his music alike will find something to tap along to here. The band is comprised of the standard guitars (lead, bass, acoustic variations), drums and keyboards, with the odd banjo and harmonica thrown in.
   
    There is significant surround channel use throughout almost every track. Audience sounds are consistent throughout, with the start and end of every track featuring obvious left/right rear channel use. There are also other ambient sounds and instruments emanating from the rears throughout the performance. You are pretty much placed front and centre stage in the cramped confines of The Basement.

    The subwoofer is supported, but is subtle in use and does not dominate to any extent.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Featurette - The Show Must Go On

    When renowned Rock Historian Glenn A. Baker has something to say, it is usually worth listening to. This 22:22 documentary is no exception, with Baker providing significant detail on the life and career of Leo Sayer. In addition to chronicling his albums and solo hits, there is cutaway footage to an interview with Sayer at the Basement club, and highlights of the concert itself as well. Well worth a look to gain a better appreciation of the man and his music and to realise just how many hits he had in the 1970s.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Though this title is only released in Region 4, it is not region coded, so presumably any other region release will be identical to this one.

Summary

    Leo Sayer - Live At The Basement offers a chance to catch up with a real superstar of the 1970s that most of us would have lost track of in recent years. To say that the man sings with a passion and a sense of fun is an understatement, and it is difficult not to get swept up with the sheer enthusiasm he has for his music. The audience certainly seemed to enjoy themselves, singing along and dancing on stage, and I'm sure you will too (I know I did - sing along that is - not dance on the coffee table!).

    The video quality is mildly disappointing, with plenty of low level and chroma noise infecting the image throughout. It doesn't seem to matter too much, though, as it is far outweighed by a very good audio soundtrack and a fun and energetic performance.

    The extra is limited to a sole documentary, but being written and presented by noted rock historian Glenn A. Baker, it is a worthy extra.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Friday, July 26, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Terry K
DVD Plaza - Colin H
The DVD Bits - Damien M

Comments (Add) NONE