June 18 2013 Latest news:
Chris Hill and Ian Clarke
Monday, June 15, 2009
Holkham Hall, Norfolk
Despite Sir Elton Johns lyrical plea, the sun did eventually go down on Holkham Hall last night as 15,000 fans admired a performance from a British music legend.
But the flamboyant rocker was still standing after a two-and-a-half-hour show that enraptured the crowds basking in glorious sunshine for his last UK show of the year.
Clearly enjoying the fine weather and his stately surroundings, Sir Elton said: Were very happy to be here on this beautiful evening. This is the first warm night weve had.
The record Holkham audience was treated to highlights from the Rocket Mans four-decade career, including classics I Guess Thats Why They Call It The Blues, Candle In The Wind and an emotional finale of Your Song.
And, while Sir Elton insisted that Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting, Sunday night seemed far better suited to an early-summer picnic judging by the patchwork of rugs and hampers dotted around the grounds of the ancestral home of the Earl of Leicester and his family.
Viscount Coke said he was delighted to see the massed music fans Crocodile Rocking in his back garden. He said: I dont think we could have asked for better weather, and it is such a joy to have someone of Sir Eltons calibre here.
We decided not to do a concert last year. We were offered a couple of tribute bands but we thought they would cheapen our brand, and it seems that decision has been vindicated.
Lord Coke said he had eclectic music tastes and named Rocket Man among his favourite Elton anthems.
Ive not met him yet, but I hope to later, he said. It should be one of the perks of having him play at your house.
The giant Holkham stage, which took six days to construct, was framed by the estates woodland and lake, providing a perfect setting for such rock royalty. Holkham Hall has previously hosted acts such Jools Holland, Girls Aloud and Jose Carreras. But, with global record sales of more than 250m, Sir Elton is comfortably the biggest name to have been attracted to the Norfolk estate.
The demand for tickets meant it needed to hike up its previous capacity of 10,000.
Last nights performance was Sir Eltons first in Norfolk since packing out Carrow Road stadium in Norwich four years ago.
Earlier in the evening, Coronation Street actor-turned-singer Richard Fleeshman warmed up the audience as they awaited the superstars appearance.
Among the fans at the front of the crowd were Angela Mills, her sisters Julie Moses and Sarah Eldin, her cousin Caroline Grant and friend Petula Willetts, all decked out in Elton-style oversized 1970s sunglasses in honour of their hero.
Mrs Mills, 42, from Kings Lynn, said: I just hope he sings Philadelphia Freedom; I used to sing it into my hairbrush with my sister when we were tiny. To us, Elton John sums up the Glam Rock era. We thought: What better way to pay homage to Elton than to wear big glasses out of respect for a man who has produced fantastic records for the last 40 years?