REVIEW: Expect hit after hit when on-song Elton John heads to Peterborough

There can be no doubt that Elton John is a music icon, but there have been many icons in the music industry who after four decades on the road, lose the ability to hit the notes and kick out their hits like they use to. No need to worry, when Elton comes to Peterborough in the summer this won't be an issue.

Wednesday, 7th December 2016, 11:35 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:55 pm
Elton John in concert - Credit: Jason Senior

I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of what Peterborough can expect in 2017 when Elton thrilled 11,000 fans at Newcastle’s Metro Arena on Saturday night.

Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Have Mercy on the Criminal, Your Song, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting, Crocodile Rock, 40 years of hit after hit squeezed into two perfectly performed hours of feel good entertainment that’ll have you constantly on your feet.

Elton’s percussionist John Mahon summed it up for me. He said: “We work hard. We play a very long show because Elton is adamant about the audience having a great time. He wants people to get their money’s worth and to get hit after hit after hit, because there’s nothing worse than going to a concert of a major artist and they don’t play the songs that you want to hear.

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Nigel Olsson © Steve Jennings

“He feels that. He says he wants them to go away saying ‘that was the greatest show I’ve ever seen’. And most people do. When we play back to back songs like Rocket Man, Candle In The Wind and Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest word people sit back in their seats in amazement in that they can’t believe that much powerful music is coming from one artist. We’ll never see anyone like this again.

“There won’t be artists like this ever again.”

And lets be clear, it’s not just Elton who is outstanding, his band are hardly ‘Johnny-come-latelys.’ Each are musical legends in their own right.

Lead guitarist and musical director (the light show is outstanding) Davey Johnstone and drummer Nigel Olsson have been touring with Elton since the early 70s. Kim Bullard has been on stage for 30 years playing with Yes, Nine Inch Nail, Phil Collins, Kelly Clarkkson, among others. John Mahon has been with Elton on tour since 1997 and is a singer/songwriter and producer in his own right. Matt Bissonette on bass was born into a musical family and has been on stage since the age of 12.

Nigel Olsson © Steve Jennings

The result, each member of the band is as comfortable knocking out the hits as Elton himself, it appears effortless and that lets them have fun on stage, stay loose and free - the fact that every single one of them is having fun really translates to the audience. In a bad mood, spend five minutes at an Elton John gig, I dare you not to come out smiling.

Elton will be playing in Peterborough at The Abax Stadium on Sunday June 11 2017, as part of his worldwide Wonderful Crazy Night Tour.

Tickets available from [email protected] or by calling the club on 01733 865665.

John added: “When we play somewhere new it’s cool to see people how happy people are to see Elton play.

He is a legend and he is a superstar and he’s not going to be around forever. And you are not going to see musicians of that talent come around anymore because record companies nowadays just want to make money on a record and they are on to the next Justin Bieber.

“On this tour we are playing in towns we have never been to before or towns in the middle of nowhere with there’s a little arena and the people go absolutely bonkers.

“You pay your money and good gigs aren’t cheap. But when you hear those songs one after another you go home happy. And that’s the beauty of Elton. He knows they are going to say ‘I would go and see that again in a heartbeat’ and tell their friends it’s the greatest show they have ever been to. So they are going to keep coming back.”