Elton John World News: The Latest on Elton's UK Tour

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Friday 3 March 2006 @ 17:04 - GMT

EJW recently reported that a South Wales band would be opening for Elton's Valley Stadium show on June 4.

It turns out The Storys will be "special guests" at eleven stadium and arena dates this year, the BBC has announced.

The six-piece band will follow in the footsteps of James Blunt, Anastacia and the Scissor Sisters as recent support for one of the biggest names in music.

He telephoned The Storys' front man Steve Balsamo to break the news after hearing their album in Las Vegas.

During the tour, the band will perform in front of crowds up to 30,000, starting at the MEN Arena in Manchester in May.

Steve, who admitted Elton was a personal hero, said it could not have been better timed for them as they had just been signed by Warner Bros.

"I got a call from our manager and he just said, 'Elton John is going to call you in your house in 10 minutes'. ''

Sure enough, ten minutes later, the knight was on the other end, asking Steve how things were going,

"It was becoming more and more surreal and then he just said he wanted us to come on tour in the summer."

Steve, who made a name for himself on the West End as the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar, added: "I've met a lot of famous people.

"But having Elton John validate the songwriting was too much for my small brain to cope with. I couldn't believe what just happened.

"When I telephoned the boys I had to start with, 'This is not a wind-up'."

The Swansea-based ensemble - whose other members are Andy Collins, Dai Smith, Rob Thompson, Brian Thomas and Alan Thomas - have known each other through the south Wales music scene for about 15 years.

They started writing songs and playing together about three years ago.

Last year they persuaded some investors in Swansea to part with enough money to allow them to record and release their debut album on their own label.

"It could not be going any better" added Steve.

"But if nothing happens from here on in, Elton John has called and said he thinks our songs are great.''

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