With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Elton John – Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate Tuesday June 5th 2012 June 5, 2012


Some months ago when Elton John announced a UK tour of some places that never seem to get big rock stars performing the list included the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. So as I live just down the road and as Sir Elton is now 65 I thought I had to get tickets for me and my wonderful wife Catherine a.k.a Catwoman to regular readers. I love Elton’s music, especially the early stuff, but until today I had never seen him live. It was well worth the wait and the ticket price.

The support act was the amazing 2Cellos, which does exactly what it says on the tin. The act consists of two cellists from Croatia; Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser. If you had said to me before today that two guys playing cello could be really exciting and create an amazing rock sound I may well have laughed at you. But frankly these guys are outstanding. They played three covers; Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”, U2’s “With Or Without You” and an electrifying version of “Purple Haze” the Jimi Hendrix classic.

Just as we all thought they were about to start another song Elton and his band took the stage and raced right into “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting“. 2Cellos remained with the band for that and many other songs during Elton’s incredible two and a half hour set. He seemed to show no sign whatsoever of his recent illness and really seemed to be enjoying himself. The band who included long time Elton stalwarts Nigel Olsson on drums and Davey Johnstone on guitar. These guys have played together for more than 40 years now and I think that trust and knowledge of each other really shows.

The backing vocalists could undoubtedly be an act in their own right including; Rose Stone a founding member of Sly and the Family Stone and the sister of Sly and Freddie Stone and also Tata Vega who produced some terrific albums for Motown in the 70s. Having started the set with a superb rocker the band followed up with “Bennie And The Jets” and “Levon”. I was really pleased with the eclectic set list Elton had chosen. It included many of his biggest hits along with some of those that are not heard as often. Those included two fantastic selections from the ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘ album; “Funeral For A Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding” and “Grey Seal” and the gorgeous “Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters” from ‘Madman Across The Water‘. I was disappointed to see so many people head for the bar and the toilets when Elton played “Hey Ahab” from his recent collaboration with the supremely talented Leon Russell.

Most of the crowd were out to have a good time and the rain didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits. Although it was quite ironic to be listening to “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” when the weather had created the effect that the sun had never really come up! There was an element in the crowd that seemed to fit with the stereotypical breed of Harrogate snob. They seemed to be there more for the social occasion, to drink Pimms and most importantly to be seen. One bloke and his wife/ partner asked us to swap seats with him so that he could sit near his friends. We refused largely because they had been getting up and going in and out of the grandstand during the whole show (well the part they stayed for anyway). But it was interesting that five minutes after our refusal all his ‘friends’ left without telling him! I named him Mr Yo Yo Bollocks.

There were two ladies who spent most of the show dancing around and trying to get everyone else up, including the security guards. They were draped in a ‘we love Elton’ Union Jack and seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely, but I suspect that their hangovers may be huge. It took “I’m Still Standing” to get everyone up, most of whom stayed up for the rest of the show. When Elton and the band left the stage it was hard to figure out what the encore would be as they had played some many classics, but of course it was the beautiful “Your Song”. Preceded by Elton signing a whole bunch of autographs for those at the front.

Elton John is a talented musician, a gifted songwriter, a real showman and a consummate performer. There are not many people around that can match him I believe. It is nearly 39 years since I saw my first ever gig (Jackson 5 at the Wembley Empire Pool in 1973 if you’re interested!) and todays show is easily in my top 5 ever. If you are going to one of the shows on this tour I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. If you’re not then do whatever it takes to get a ticket; sell your grannie, send your kits out to clean chimneys or get your dog to wine ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ (OK probably too late on the last one). And finally thank you for a great gig Elton!

I have no film from tonights show (I was enjoying myself too much to get my phone out) so here is a clip of Elton playing “Your Song” from a couple of years back, followed by 2Cellos with their version of “Smooth Criminal”

 

“I’ve walked for miles, my feet are hurting” May 16, 2011


Yet more Gaga news for you today, she certainly knows how to create a media stir for herself doesn’t she. I guess I’m as guilty as the rest too as she does appear here quite a bit. She has become the first celebrity to reach ten million Twitter followers. She tweeted this message to her followers; “10 Million Monsters! I’m speechless, we did it! It’s an illness how I love you. Leaving London smiling”. She was the first to reach nine million in March having overtaken Britney Spears last year. She has 24 million ‘likes’ on Facebook although in terms of celebrities Eminem is ahead of her as is Texas Hold ‘Em Poker.

She also appeared at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Carlisle this weekend. She dedicated a song to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka Wills and Kate) and played a couple of jazz numbers. In her continuing quest to make an entrance unlike any other star she arrived on stage in a coffin. She was dressed in black and apparently wearing a prosthetic pregnancy. Unless of course it was real! Before Gaga’s super injunction takes effect I would like to state categorically that I am not the father! I would like to thank my good friend Nick Horslen for sending me the clip of her stage entrance. Incidentally Nick also categorically denies that he is the father.  Nick also came up with a pun to describe the Gaga entrance that is up there with my worst puns. It went something like this ‘Lady Gaga had a bit of a coffin fit I hear…’ keep taking the tablets Nick!

Now for some non Gaga news. Last week Roger Waters played a few shows at the O2 Arena in London as part of The Wall tour. I would have loved to have gone but I never got around to booking early enough. But a work friend of mine was there and not only was it a great show, but also for the first time since Live 8 in 2005 the remaining members of Pink Floyd (David Gilmour and Nick Mason) joined Waters on stage. To say that I was envious of my friend Grant would be an understatement, being there for that particular performance is one to tell your grandchildren isn’t it? Click here to check it out on the BBC

And finally time for more mondegreens aka misheard lyrics. These were posted in the Rock Of Ages Yahoo Group and there are some real doozies there!

“I bless the rains down in Africa.” (Toto – Africa)
People sing: “I left my brains down in Africa.”

“Might as well face it, You’re addicted to love” (Robert Palmer – Addicted to love)
“Might as well face it, you’re a dick with a glove.” (some people have suggested that they thought this was about Michael Jackson!

“Body’s aching all the time.” (Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody)
“but he’s naked all the time.”

“And as we wind on down the road.” (Led Zeppelin – Stairway to heaven)
“There’s a wino down the road.”

“And kept her apart from the things that she loved.” (The Beatles – Getting Better)
“And kicked her apartment of things that’s Sheila.”

“Excuse me while I kiss the sky.” (Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze)
“Excuse me while I kiss this guy.”

“See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen” (Abba – Dancing Queen)
” See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen.”

“Like a virgin, touched for the very first time” (madonna – Like a Virgin)
“Like a virgin, touched for the thirty-first time”

“We built this city on rock and roll.” (Starship – We built this city)
“We built this city on log and coal.”

“I’ll never be your beast of burden.” (Rolling Stones – Beast of Burden)
“I’ll never leave your pizza burnin’.”

“Here we are now, entertain us.” (Nirvana – Smells like teen spirit)
“Here we are now, in containers.”

“The answer, my friend,
is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.” (Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the wind)
“The ants are my friends,
they’re blowin’ in the wind
The ants are a-blowin’ in the wind.”

“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.” (Green day – Time of your life)
“Another turnip boy, the Ford stuck in the road.”

“Got my mind set on you.” (George Harrison – Got my mind set on you)
“Thought my mom sat on you.”

“There’s a bad moon on the rise.” (Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising)
“There’s a bathroom on the right.”

Just because I love the song and it doesn’t get played too much here is “Beast Of Burden” by the Stones.

 

 
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