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Tuesday August 20, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday August 20, 2013 MYT 8:19:14 AM
by angelin yeoh
Air Supply’s Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock (right) were in top form on Saturday night. — RICKY LAI/The Star
Armed with nostalgic hits and a new single, Air Supply entertained fans in Kuala Lumpur last weekend.
AUSTRALIAN soft rock group Air Supply is no stranger to this country and its people. During its concert on Saturday at the Calvary Convention Centre in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, vocalist and guitarist Graham Russell, 63, talked about the duo’s love affair with Malaysia.
“We first came to KL in 1981 and we’ve been coming here for 32 years. Though we’d like to believe that most of the people in our audience are not that old,” Russell joked to the over 4,000 fans at the concert that night.
The evening started off with vocalist Russell Hitchcock, 64, effortlessly belting out the 1982 hit Even The Nights Are Better, followed by Just As I Am and Every Women.
Hitchcock stole the show with a high-octane performance of Power Of Love; After the song, the singer went backstage but Russell was quick to assure the audience that everything was all right.
“For those who haven’t seen us before, don’t worry, he’ll be back. We’ve done this for over 30 years and he always does this thing where he disappears and comes back,” he said in good humour much to the audience’s delight.
Then he added: “I don’t really know what he does backstage. I think he has a cup of tea and fixes his hair.”
Russell also joked that he could recite poetry or “talk to the audience for five minutes” while his partner was taking a breather. Though the audience probably wouldn’t mind either choice, Russell chose to perform a poignant piano ballad entitled I Won’t Stop Loving You.
Meanwhile, the affable Hitchcock was in the mood for storytelling, sharing how he and Russell connected with each other. “We had a connection because we didn’t know what we were doing.
“I saw Graham playing an original song at a corridor and back then I used to work in a computer company. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but this (singing in a band) is much better,” Hitchcock revealed.
Formed in 1975, Air Supply has sold over five million copies of its Greatest Hits album since 1983. Not bad for a duo with self-confessed low expectations.
Before starting on Two Less Lonely People In The World, Hitchcock said: “We’d like to take you back to a time when we were a band with one guitar and two voices. Please sing along. Otherwise, we’d come out and sort you out.”
After belting out more hits like Here I Am, Lost In Love and Making Love (Out Of Nothing At All), Graham told the audience to “stick around as we’re not done yet”. He was talking about the duo’s new single, Desert Sea Sky. The dance pop number sounded a little jarring and out of place, something the likes of Cher would include in her album. The song certainly did not leave a good impression on me, and I pray that rapper Pitbull will not make an appearance on the duo’s next album.
Air Supply had another surprise for the audience, this time in the form of top Malaysian drummer Gary Gideon.
“Our usual drummer couldn’t make it tonight and we’re fortunate enough to have Gary fill in for him. We’ve only rehearsed with him this afternoon. You know the mark of a great musician (when) someone can step in at any time and play our song,” said Russell. Gideon said he was “honoured” to be included in the duo’s line-up in Malaysia.
As a parting gift to the faithful adoring crowd, Air Supply ended the night with two favourite songs – Goodbye and All Out Of Love.
The duo’s latest outing in Malaysia felt like a fleeting dream. Before exiting the stage, the duo graciously thanked fans for “being a part of their music for so many years”.
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