Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Elton Strikes Back with a Passion; POP

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Elton Strikes Back with a Passion; POP

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN AIZLEWOOD

Elton John Shepherd's Bush Empire

WHEN Sir Elton John sheds his baggage - be it a pointless orchestra or a succession of momentumsapping special guests - to sit down and play alongside his watertight band, he begins to make musical sense.

Last night, for more than two hours, he made considerable sense.

Despite the potential distraction of a balcony packed with the fairly famous, he played hits aplenty; much of his current Songs From the West Coast album and a smattering of elderly tracks, such as Harmony, the opening Funeral For a Friend and Holiday Inn, which featured guitarist Davey Johnstone - disturbingly resembling Garth from Wayne's World - on folksy mandolin.

This pair of intimate Empire shows are for his Aids Foundation charity and John's mood was as jocose as a man with the Number One single should be. He dedicated Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word to his collaborators Blue.

He was cheerfully foulmouthed in berating Presidents Reagan and DubyaBush, he playfully altered the lyrics to Crocodile Rock ("When I was young, my todger had so much fun") and the instant a song finished, he was off his stool, bowing, pointing and clapping. …

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