Elton John World News: A Review of The Valley Gig

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Monday 5 June 2006 @ 17:09 - GMT

Thousands of fans were wowed by one of the greatest musical showmen in the world on Sunday night as Sir Elton performed at The Valley.

He delivered two and a quarter hours of songs from his 37-year career to a captivated crowd, not even pausing for an interval.

But John, honorary president of Watford football club (whose players were at the gig), also found time to praise the Addicks, whom he described as a 'model Premier League club'.

Indeed, such was the success of the concert that the club could stage a number of concerts next year.

"I want to thank Charlton and the board of directors and chairman for allowing me to play at The Valley," said Sir Elton, who revealed he used to watch the Addicks when he was a youngster living in Kent.

"I'm looking forward to some great matches between Charlton and Watford in the Premiership next season."

Supporters who attended the gig, the first concert in the stadium since The Who 30 years previously, were greeted by a transformed arena.

A massive stage, in between two giant video screens, was erected in front of the Jimmy Seed Stand, and near the front, in prime position on his piano, was the man himself.

Although there were spots of rain towards the finale, the spirits of concertgoers were hardly diminished.

The show began with The Storys; then Elton came on to do Bennie and the Jets and Philadelphia Freedom.

He also did Tiny Dancer, which he said he makes a point of playing in the U.S., although not necessarily in the UK, believing Britons don't care for the tune.

This didn't seem to be the case last night. Other numbers which were well-received were Believe, Daniel, Rocket Man, I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Turn The Lights Out When You Leave, They Call Her The Cat, The One, Take Me To The Pilot, I Want Love, Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word and Sacrifice.

But, appropriately enough, the party atmosphere really got started with Are You Ready for Love, which was used by Sky to promote the 2003/04 Premiership season. I'm Still Standing, The Bitch Is Back and Saturday Night's (Alright For Fighting) followed to a rapturous reception.

And two hours after he started the Rocket Man left the stage with the crowd calling for more.

He would return moments later, of course, and as the encore started with Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me, bluer skies could be seen overhead despite the late hour.

The star's final tune of the night was Your Song, which he dedicated to all the fans who have supported him throughout his career and those at The Valley on Sunday night.

Charlton chief executive Peter Varney said: "I know that everyone who attended had a fantastic night and Elton was at his brilliant best.

"He certainly brought The Valley to life, and it was generous of him to say such nice things about our football club.

"The show timings were met in full and any disruptions to local residents was kept to an absolute minimum.''

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