sojourneys


Sam Hui (許冠傑) at the Singapore Indoor Stadium – Mar 29, 2008
March 31, 2008, 12:12 pm
Filed under: concerts, 許冠傑, 许冠杰, Sam Hui

For some 2 hrs 40 mins Sam Hui showed what legends are made of as he ruled the Singapore Indoor Stadium, serenading his loyal fans with hit after hit in a career that has spanned more than 40 years. Known for songs that strike a chord with the man and woman in street because of his unique, unpretentious delivery, and lyrics and melodies that resonate with the heart, it was clear that his Singapore fans missed him. But Sam is too generous with giving spotlight to his sons (Ryan and Scott) and his brother (Ricky); his fans were there to see him, and he could have interacted with them more. Ricky threatened to upstage him in that department with some well-timed self-deprecating humor. I should be able to upload some pictures and videos over the next few days. Meanwhile, here is Straits Times‘ review.

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Play it again, Sam
Fans of Sam Hui couldn’t get enough of the Cantopop singer as he belted out hit after hit effortlessly
By Nancy Koh

THE GOOD LIFE: Hui might be approaching 60 but he kept a relentless pace, his voice was not wobbly and he didn’t forget his lines. — PHOTO: UNUSUAL ENTERTAINMENTS

concert
SAM HUI. SINGAPORE. LIVE
Singapore Indoor Stadium
Last Saturday
CANTOPOP legend Sam Hui high-kicked last Saturday on the same stage that 60-year-old guitar legend Santana had strolled on a month ago. Hui turns 60 in September.

While Santana was content to prowl about on stage and perched on the platform during a couple of numbers, Hui skipped, danced, pelvis-rocked and even did the Moulin Rouge high kick with his eight nubile dancers.

He also braved the sell-out audience of 8,000 twice by coming downstage to work the aisles. The first time, he gave out scarves to shrieking girls whom he kissed while dressed as Elvis Presley and singing the latter’s Pocketful Of Rainbows. The second time, he pumped hands as he sang the Golden Horse award-winning theme song Chong Hoi Yat Sang Siu (A Laugh At The World) from Swordsman (1990). He had played the titular role opposite Cecilia Yip.

For two hours and 40 minutes, he cranked out hit after hit effortlessly like an unstoppable human jukebox. Many of the catchy tunes revolved around the strife for life and love, with lyrics that were simple, comical and witty. His voice was not wobbly or frayed – the only ravages of time were a sagely face and wider girth.

Hui, who had performed here in 2005 and 1993, not only sang but also played the drums, harmonica, piano, an assortment of guitars and even whistled.

And it was a family affair of sorts as his sons Ryan and Scott joined him onstage. Ryan, who has his father’s matinee-idol looks, ran some wicked riffs on the electric guitar. The three heated up the stadium with a rock interpretation of Hui’s working-man classic Poon Kan Bat Leung (Half Kati Eight Tahils) from The Private Eyes (1976).

Second brother Ricky Hui also appeared in a Presley wig and trademark flared pantaloons. The goofy fall guy in the Hui brothers’ beloved comedies of the 1970s and 1980s cracked everyone up by being self-deprecating about his lot in life: short, ugly and unloved.

But the night belonged to Sam Hui, who was clearly there to please his fans even if he had to sing past midnight. He endeared himself to them by asking for song requests – and obliging everyone, even a Japanese fan (Goodbye My Love, Teresa Teng’s song in Japanese).

He also belted out cheeky Canto versions of English songs, such as turning Presley’s Don’t Be Cruel into Fat Tiu Cheung (Buddha Jumps Over The Wall). There were gasps aplenty when the screen flashed pictures of him in his younger days as he sang English songs such as The Beatles’ In My Life.

He also sang songs from his new album, Yan Sang Doh Mor Ho (Life Is Good!), released last September, some 17 years since his last album release.

The audience, comprising mainly midlifers, included young people taking their mums or dads on a night out. Some spectators – which included a posse of 40 die-hard Hong Kong fans – waved lights and banners and bopped along at the barricade. And they scrambled over one another when Hui hurled gold-coin chocolates as he sang Chin Chin Chin (Money Money Money). He also gave out presents and threw props such as a basket, an umbrella and even his wristband to them.

His pace was relentless. So many hits, so little time. What was remarkable was that he didn’t forget any lines, right up to the rousing hand-clapping, feet-tapping encore of seven songs.

Hong Konger Cheung Yin Mei, 33, who flew here for the show with her friends, summed it up best when she said: ‘Sam was fantastic as usual, that’s why we love him. Where’s the nearest karaoke lounge? We want to continue singing.’



YouTube clips of Jeff Chang (张信哲)’s concert at the Max Pavillion in Singapore
March 29, 2008, 5:56 pm
Filed under: concerts, Jeff Chang, Singapore, videos, 张信哲

As promised, here are some of the video clips I captured at the concert and uploaded onto YouTube.

不要对他说 – I

不要对他说 – II

太想愛你



Jeff Chang (张信哲) in Singapore, Mar 15, 2008
March 21, 2008, 4:57 am
Filed under: concerts, Jeff Chang, 张信哲

Caught Jeff Chang (张信哲) last weekend at the Max Pavillon.  Can’t say about the revamped image he donned for the concert, but his vocals remain pristine and choir boy as ever.  Here’s a review by the Straits Times.  Should be able to post some clips on YouTube in the next few days.

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Jeff Chang’s artful ways
By Boon Chan

— ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

pop
JEFF CHANG & SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 2008
Singapore Expo’s Max Pavilion/Last Saturday

IT BEGAN like any other classical music concert. The members of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Orchestra tuned their instruments and then the conductor strode onto the stage.

But this was Taiwanese crooner Jeff Chang’s (right) show and he soon emerged in a black suit over a black ruffled shirt with bling added for effect.

He also sported an anachronistic asymmetrical haircut that harked back to Boy George in the early 1980s – wavy strands which cascaded down one side of his face.

Then there was the stage itself – awash in dark red drapes, with chandeliers hanging in the centre, and three screens made to look like framed pictures in a museum.

What followed was not your typical Chinese pop concert.

As Chang delivered his love ballads, masterpieces from canonical Western art were shown, from Botticelli’s The Birth Of Venus down to Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

Still, all of the staging and production would have been for nought if Chang had not delivered as a singer.

And deliver he did as the prince of love ballads dug into his big bag of hits and pulled out one familiar favourite after another, including Don’t Worry About My Sadness and Love Tide.

Apart from a moment or two of strain, he showed excellent control over his pristine tenor pipes over the 21/2-hour show.

His heyday might have been in the 1990s but he still has his fans. The 7,000 capacity crowd comprised those in their 20s and 30s.

He walked up and down the length of the stage and waved to the audience from time to time, but otherwise, he was not much of a mover and shaker.

But he had a cheeky side which occasionally emerged in his banter.

When some fans shouted: ‘Ah Zhe, you’re so handsome,’ he responded immediately: ‘What took you guys so long? I’ve been waiting all this time for a compliment.’

When the crowd finally got fired up during the call for an encore, a bemused Chang quipped: ‘Why is everyone so high after the concert has ended?’

He might not have the most electrifying stage presence and he might not have the slick dance moves, but he nevertheless fashioned an entertaining show from the unlikely combination of Chinese pop and high art.

There was even a snatch of Chinese opera incorporated into his new song Peony Care.

You could also read the presentation as Chang making a case for his songs as art. Before each number, the title was displayed and the composer and lyricist duly credited.

You might not agree, but there’s no denying that the crooner has accumulated an impressive body of well-loved classics over two decades.

And that’s no small achievement.