The Brag Media
News October 27, 2015

Live review: Engelbert Humperdinck

While the charts abound with modern-day 20-something flowers ’n’ romance balladeers, it’s nice to see that one of the great kings of romance Engelbert Humperdinck was still delivering to packed-out houses on his current Australian tour. At 77, he knew how to work the crowd: with a mixture of soul ballads, sexy moves, tributes to great singers and a nice touch of comedy.

As the audience demographic showed, the impossibly handsome Humperdinck has also been attracting a younger crowd, with The Dance Album which went into the Top 10 of the US dance charts, the million-selling Lesbian Seagull from the Beavis and Butthead Do America movie, and a reworking of Ten Guitars with Australia’s surf band The Break, made up of Midnight Oil and Violent Femmes members.

The Greatest Hits & More Tour sets up his upcoming Duets album, which he announced would include Willie Nelson (on Bob Dylan’sMake You Feel My Love), Smokey Robinson and Kenny Rogers, with Seal apparently also tapped. He performed a duet with Elton John, too, Something About The Way You Look Tonight, with Elton delivering his lines from virtual space.

The two-hour set was largely divided between the old hits (Please Release Me, The Last Waltz and Spanish Eyes in a medley, How I Love You, Feelings, The Way It Used To Be) and sassy up-tempo numbers like Quando Quando Quando and You Make My Pants Want To Get Up And Dance which allowed the nine-piece band to stretch out. He recalled how Dean Martin introduced him to Las Vegas with a bit of old footage and a mischievous yarn of how Deano advised him “Never walk onstage sober”, and an even more mischievous anecdote about how another entertainer (obviously arch-rival Tom Jones) used to stuff hankies down his pants before his shows. Red hankies have long been Humperdinck’s trademark: for the encore, he came on in a red dressing gown and threw hankies into the audience.

Humperdinck does two more shows in Australia this week – the Star in Sydney on Wednesday (July 10) and the Crown Theatre in Perth on Saturday (July 13).


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