Play It Again Sam

[ 24-02-2005 ]

Hong Kong’s ‘God of Songs’ Sam Hui still had the crowd eating out of his hand at his recent concert eventhough it was missing that extra oomph. SHARON WONG writes.

HE may have been out of the limelight for 12 years but Sam Hui, Hong Kong’s “God of Songs”, still has what it takes to get a crowd going. Last year, he made a comeback in a series of concerts titled Keep On Smiling and has not looked back since.

He opened his Sam Hui Live In Malaysia 2005 with a difference last Saturday, riding a scooter around the peripheral of the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur to the familiar tune of Jui Kai Pak Dong (Aces Go Places) and Yau Jau Kam Chiu Jui (Let’s Drink Tonight) and shaking hands with those within reach.

There was a bit of confusion as people did not know what was happening but when they finally realised he was among them, things got excited.

And that was the trend of the evening. He relished in getting up-close and personal with his audience (well, those near the front of the stage and the railings of the covered seats anyway).

On one of his rounds, he threw flowers to the audience while belting out Yeh Pun Ching See Yu (Whispers In The Night) and Sek Sai Lei (All My Love For You). At another, he handed out scarves and kisses while impersonating Elvis Presley (Hui is a self-professed die-hard Elvis fan).

Hui getting up-close and personal with the audience.

All very well for the fans but pity the photographers who had to rush to capture the moment and the security people who tried desperately to catch up and control the situation before pandemonium broke out.

The stage setting was simple, with leopard print decoration and a platform extending out into the audience. Hui, who appeared in attire with mostly animal motifs, explained that he has fallen in love with wildlife and that he even sees himself as a leopard.

His repertoire included both his old Cantonese hits as well as English numbers. There was also a string of guest artistes to keep things interesting.

They included 12 Girls Band, HK-TVB artiste Myolie Wu Hung Yi, Ella, Malaysian model-cum-host Soong Ai Ling and Sam’s Angels.

Hui’s two sons, Ryan and Scott, also took to the stage with him while his elder brother Ricky Hui provided the comic relief, making fun of his looks and age and the fact that he has been overshadowed by his younger sibling.

To be honest, although Ricky might not be as good looking, he can actually sing quite well. He presented songs like Choi Sun Dou (Arrival of the God of Fortune), a Mandarin number titled Zhang Seng Xiang Qi (Ring of Applause) and a medley with Sam.

Perhaps it was the length of the concert (it lasted close to 3½ hours) or maybe it was the energy-sapping heat of the night but despite the rapport Sam generated with his audience and the memorable songs, the concert still lacked the oomph. Or, maybe we were just too far from the stage to be in the thick of things.

However, at 56, Sam is still in excellent shape and you have to tip your hat off to him for prancing around, singing and talking non-stop for the duration of the concert.

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