Review: a mellower Sam Hui plays the hits again

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 April, 2014, 3:38am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 April, 2014, 3:38am

Concerts by Sam Hui Koon-kit are as much a part of Hong Kong's heritage as the man himself. And, like a good wine, the legendary Canto-pop singer has mellowed with age, as evidenced by his latest run of shows at the Hong Kong Coliseum, which ended on Sunday night.

While his love for the city is still on show during classic songs such as Tower Amid the Clouds, gone are the emotional pleas for fans to stand up and support Hong Kong.

Hui famously once urged people not to emigrate in the period before the 1997 handover.

But now, at a time when anxiety and anger are palpable everywhere in the city, Hui's main message was "to cherish" life. He even titled this run of shows "What a Wonderful World".

Hui, 65, danced beneath a giant multi-screen structure straight out of a science-fiction movie.

His guests reflected the prevalent themes of love and family. His two sons, Ryan and Scott, joined him on the stage, while Scott's wife Ida made a rare appearance to sing the duet Love Is Invincible with Hui.

Another guest was Joyce Cheng Yan-yee, the daughter of actor-singer Adam Cheng Siu-chow and the late actress Lydia Sum Tin-ha (also known as Lydia Shum). Hui started by singing Joyce Cheng's best-known song, Embrace Love, from the television drama Come Home Love.

Cheng gave a solo rendition of Remembrance on Parents' Love.

Students from Hui's alma mater, the University of Hong Kong, made a double musical contribution. In addition to performing a Cantonese version of Elaine Paige's Memory, the young scholars went on to sing one of Hui's cheekiest hits, Mahjong Heroes.

The concert drew to a close with Hui taking requests from fans - as long as they could provide the lyrics. Of course, no Sam Hui concert would be complete without all-time favourite, Drifter's Song, which saw the Coliseum transformed into a 10,000-strong karaoke performance.