Photo gallery: Elton John rocks Northampton’s County Cricket Groundhttp://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/lifestyle/what-s-on/the-guide/music/photo_gallery_elton_john_rocks_northampton_s_county_cricket_ground_1_2806621
THE legendary Sir Elton John brought thousands of fans to their feet in a sell-out concert which rocked Northampton – for one-night-only.
Fourteen-and-a-half thousand people packed out Northamptonshire County Cricket Ground in Abington for the open-air concert which could be heard for miles around.
The singer songwriter, who has sold more than 250 million records, included the town in his Rocket Man world tour on Saturday night.
Dressed in a black tailcoat with Music Magic emblazoned on the back and trademark dark glasses he performed on a black grand piano.
He dedicated the concert to his “old friend and drinking partner” retired Northamptonshire cricketer Allan Lamb, and Northampton rugby star Ben Cohen.
After opening with show-stopping tunes like Saturday Night he performed a string of his definitive records including the highlight of the night; an epic version of the 1972 hit Rocket Man, accompanied by fireworks.
The crowds were on their feet for Sacrifice, waving their hands to Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and singing along to Crocodile Rock during the two-and-a-half hour show.
The sun shone and the rain held off for the entire evening boosting the electric atmosphere in the seated outdoor venue.
The show came to an emotional conclusion when Sir Elton John returned on stage to sing his encore of Candle in the Wind, which he famously sang at the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997.
The poignant dedication to the Princess “buried beneath the soil of Northampton” at her childhood home in Althorp, near Northampton, received a standing ovation from the audience.
The 64-year-old finished the concert with the much-loved hit Your Song before thanking the crowd for their loyalty.
He said: “Thank you so much, it has been a pleasure to come here.
“I’m so happy to be here.
“All of my fans have been so loyal to me for so long
“It is a wonderful life because of you guys, you make it possible.
“I wish each and every one of you peace, and love and prosperity and, more importantly, health.”
The performer, who is one of the highest-earning musicians in the world and released his first album in 1969, then spent around 10 minutes signing autographs for people in the front of the crowd.
Toby Jackson, aged 34, a recruitment worker from Kingsley, who went along with his mum and friends, said: “I’ve been a die-hard Elton John fan since I was six years old. I just love everything about him. His music is just absolutely fantastic and he’s spanned three generations.
“His version of Rocket Man tonight was the best song I have ever heard performed live.
“Tiny Dancer was also a favourite of mine.
“Candle in the Wind was a lovely touch too. He couldn’t have come to Northampton and not have sung that. It was really emotional and I think it brought a tear to all of us.”
Louise Smith, aged 24, a make-up artist from Northampton town centre, added: “Elton looked amazing and he was so entertaining, he kept leaving the piano to wave to the crowd.
“It was just a brilliant concert and his music just seems to be timeless.
“There was a great atmosphere and the weather turned out to be great.
“It’s amazing that a superstar like Elton John would come along to a town like Northampton to perform, it’s a great boost for the town.”
Elton John was accompanied by his full band, including a particularly happy drummer, and three backing singers.
The 2 Cellos, a double cello act from the Royal Academy of Music in London, also helped out Sir Elton John for the first part of the show.
The show was opened by up-and-coming pop star Ed Drewitt, a 23- year-old singer and song writer who had caught the attention of Elton John.
He is best known for his collaboration with Professor Green on the UK number three single I Need You Tonight in 2010 and performed the single alongside his friend at the Roadmender in Northampton in April.
The flamboyant star first played in Northamptonshire in 2000 when he performed two solo concerts Castle Ashby, but told the Chronicle and Echo prior to this weekend’s performance that he was delighted to be returning, this time with his full band.
Elton John photos
PIC GALLERY - can you see yourself in the crowd as Kings Lynn’s Festival Too starts with classic Elton John songs and a fireworks display
By DAVID BLACKMORE Monday, June 27, 2011
The night sky over King’s Lynn came to life last night as Norfolk’s biggest free pop festival kicked off with a bang.
Festival Too, which is set to attract thousands of people to the town in the coming weeks, started with an Elton John tribute act and fireworks display on King Staithe Square.
Next weekend, the Tuesday Market Place will host local bands The Yesterdays and Birkenhed, The Lightning Seeds, and 80s icon Howard Jones.
Then on Friday, July 8, pop starlet Sophie Ellis-Bextor will perform on the Tuesday Market Place before rock band The Hoosiers and chart-topping band The Feeling take to the stage the following night.
Admission to all the gigs is free with sponsorship from local businesses and bucket collections helping to cover the cost of staging the event.
Festival Too started in 1985 with the aim of providing free entertainment to the people and visitors of West Norfolk and is now one of Europe’s biggest free festivals.
Festival Too line-up
Saturday, June 25 (King Staithe Square)
Elton John tribute followed by fireworks which will be lit at 10.30pm (weather permitting)
Friday, July 1 (Tuesday Market Place)
Local band The Yesterdays followed by 80s icon Howard Jones
Saturday, July 2 (Tuesday Market Place)
Local group Birkenhed will perform before the UK’s leading Lady Ga Ga tribute and the Lightning Seeds
Friday, July 8 (Tuesday Market Place)
Sinead from Fame Academy and her new band The Dawnbreakers will take to the stage before Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Saturday July 9 (Tuesday Market Place)
KLFM and Twisted Melon Promotions Battle of the Band winners will have the opening slot on the final night before The Hoosiers and The Feeling