A week with Cliff Richard at the Hammersmith Apollo: Blue Sapphire Tour 2023 review

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending Cliff Richard’s London gig at the Hammersmith Apollo, which was part of his Blue Sapphire Tour 2023. Despite being in the industry for over 65 years, the legendary Sir Cliff Richard, at 83, appeared in top form, with a voice as youthful as ever.

The evening featured a performance of his 14 hits along with engaging conversations with English lyricist Sir Timothy Rice. They reminisced about their time at EMI Records and shared highlights from Sir Richard’s illustrious career. Personally, I would have preferred more time dedicated to the music, but it seemed the audience was quite intrigued by the behind-the-scenes stories.

Cliff Richard blue sapphire tour 2023 london mums magazine collage

The Apollo, known for hosting music legends, has been beautifully refurbished, restoring it to its original splendour. This year, I’ve had the pleasure of attending three iconic events, including Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust Global Premiere, Chris Isaak, and now Cliff’s tour, which is set to take over the venue until 12th November. The atmosphere was electric, with over 5000 devoted fans, many of whom made me feel like a mere youngster.

Doors opened at 6.15 pm, with an age restriction of 14 and under to be accompanied by an adult, and no under 3s permitted. Tickets, priced affordably from £35.50, can be purchased from Eventim website.

Set List:

Set 1:

  1. The Young Ones (Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
  2. Please Don’t Tease (Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
  3. Living Doll
  4. Summer Holiday (Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
  5. Bachelor Boy (Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover) (First time since 2008)
  6. Talk with Tim Rice
  7. I Love You (Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover) (First time since 1994)
  8. Congratulations
  9. Ocean Deep
  10. Travellin’ Light (Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover) (First time since 2017)
  11. Move It!
  12. The Millennium Prayer (First time since 2018)

Set 2:

  1. Saphire (Live debut)
  2. The Minute You’re Gone (Sonny James cover)
  3. Mistletoe & Wine
  4. Saviour’s Day
  5. Miss You Nights
  6. Talk with Tim Rice
  7. Wired for Sound
  8. The Next Time (Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
  9. Devil Woman
  10. We Don’t Talk Anymore
  11. My Kinda Life

In the years between Elvis Presley and the Beatles, Cliff Richard reigned as the biggest thing in British rock & roll. From his debut single “Move It” in 1958, he enjoyed an astonishing five decades of hits, making a significant impact on the first generation of British rock & rollers. While he initially rocked hard with his backing band the Shadows, his career gradually transformed, encompassing movies, a variety show, and a focus on Christian music.

Cliff Richard, born Harry Rodger Webb in Lucknow, India, in 1940, was the first English singer to emulate the rebellion of American rock & roll. His early recordings, often with the Shadows, were influential and set the stage for his enduring popularity. Over the years, he evolved into an all-around entertainer, continuing to release hits, albums, and even films. His journey led to iconic status, earning him a Knight Bachelor in 1995.

Richard’s career witnessed numerous phases, from early rock & roll success to navigating the changing musical landscape of the ’60s and ’70s. His comeback in the late ’70s and ’80s with hits like “Devil Woman” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore” solidified his status as a pop icon. He continued to release music, host shows, and remain a fixture in British pop culture.

As the years progressed, Cliff Richard’s legacy remained intact, with occasional chart appearances and public appearances. His influence on British music is undeniable, with a career spanning over six decades. In 2018, he celebrated his 60th anniversary with a grand tour, showcasing his enduring appeal. His contributions to rock & roll are nothing short of fabulous.

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