I have to admit, I would not have thought of parting with any hard earned cash to go and see Elton John. I don’t class myself as particularly trendy or alternative, but he’s always been a wee bit too middle-of-the-road for me. And after the diamond jubilee, I felt I’d had my fill of ageing queens. But when I was offered tickets to go to his gig in Newcastle, I thought it best not to lead a gift horse to water without closing the stable door first. When I asked my loved ones who wanted to come with me, the excitement was almost existent. Dom finally decided that, although he ‘hated’ Elton, he didn’t despise him enough to turn down a free gig.
On our arrival at the venue, Dom confirmed that he probably was the youngest person there, and there were quite a lot of older people. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this. Am I one of them now? I guess so...with failing sight, grey hair and a recent hernia op scar, I probably didn’t stand out in the crowd of coffin-dodgers.
Although the seats were pretty close to the front, they were a little wasted on me. I could just about make out a few different shaped blobs on the stage. One of the blobs seemed to move in a familiar way, and I assumed this was the man himself. I like to feel I was looking in the right direction and not giving one of the backing singers the wrong idea.
As if I needed any further confirmation of my status as an old fart, I found myself fairly quickly wishing that they would turn the volume down a bit. The drums in particular seemed to be drowning out almost everything else, and at one point I was worried that if I turned my head to one side the sound would blast straight into one ear and out of the other – not a pleasant prospect for the person sitting behind me. I was also convinced that the bass was loosening my fillings. What’s more, Dom seemed concerned that the lighting might induce me to have a fit.
An hour and a half in, it dawned on us that Elton was on top form and enjoying himself, so any prospect of an interval was highly unlikely. I felt some crumb of comfort that at least I didn’t need the loo and that, given the average age of the audience, this would not be true of many of them.
“Oh Nikita you will never know
Just how much I need to go”
And I was actually enjoying the concert. It’s hard not too...Mr John and his songs seem to have been around forever. They were certainly part of the backdrop of my youth and hearing him belt them out in a non-stop high-energy performance was strangely evocative and incredibly impressive.
Two hours in and I have to admit I was getting a little uncomfortable perched on my plastic seat. I cursed the fact that I hadn’t worn some more stretchy jeans, as the pair I was wearing were rubbing a bit on my scar and my mid-life paunch wanted to come out and join the party. I had to concede that if the whole experience had taught me something it was “Goodbye normal jeans’.