Richard rocks for his devoted fans

VICKI ANDERSON
Last updated 07:38 01/02/2013
Sir Cliff Richard
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
FULL VOICE: British music legend Sir Cliff Richard entertains fans at CBS Canterbury Arena in Christchurch last night.

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REVIEW

Sir Cliff Richard at CBS Canterbury Arena, Thursday, January 31 on his Reelin' and Rockin' tour. Reviewed by Vicki Anderson.

Sir Cliff Richard, 72, has had a No 1 hit in every decade since 1950, and now when most people his age are rocking elasticated pants and dribbling soft foods, he is still on stage delivering high-energy two-hour shows for his army of devoted fans.

Arriving on stage in a black crystal-encrusted ensemble, Richard, with that familiar grin, launched into his 1977 hit My Kinda Life.

The first set included a gorgeous rendition of Dreamin', the ever popular Living Doll and Summer Holiday and his fans sang along, swaying together like some sort of senior citizens' flash mob. Like his 1958 hit Move It, Richard does still move it. Sure, occasionally it might be overtly marionette-like, but who could fail to admire his energy?

Returning in a red jacket for the second set after a 30-minute intermission, tennis-fanatic Richard won the match with a faultless volley of hits including Devil Woman - which included a dazzling light show, Wired for Sound, We Don't Talk Anymore, Some People and Suddenly - originally a duet with Olivia Newton-John, performed last night with the classy Suzie Furlonger.

The night was peppered with a variety of popular covers and a Little Richard number that had the man in a wheelchair next to me dancing.

His tone was superb, his rapport with the audience cheerful and genuine, his band tight.

After a two-hour set, Richard returned for an encore after a standing ovation.

"I was terrified about coming here but now I don't want to leave. There are no moaning Minnies in Christchurch; only people getting on with it. This city is only going to get better, I can't wait to come back," he said.

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