With an incredible band, a Taron Egerton duet and Aretha-style gospel fervour plus an about-turn on Brexit Eltons departure tour is wonderfully over the top
As his Rocketman biopic is keen to demonstrate, Elton John‘s life has been defined by excess- too much drink, too much coke, too much cherish- so it’s proper that his final tour is, in a little of millennial jargon that he would surely approve of, additional: Farewell Yellow Brick Road is three years long, with about 300 appointments. Before retiring to spend more time with his young sons, his last-place ever display will be at London’s O2 Arena on 16 December 2020, finishing a 19 -date final leg in the UK and Ireland. This then is a little taster, as he pops into Cardiff, Dublin and, now, Sussex’s district cricket ground.
This is a man for whom a three-minute pop song won’t do if it could be four, or six, or an 11 -minute suite about the upheaval of a breakup, as the proggy Funeral for a Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding is here tonight. He frisks for nearly three hours, force forever high-pitched, finishing almost every song by getting off his piano stool and gesticulating” Come on !” at the audience like a Watford striker who only delivered a 30 -yard screamer. There are three outfits, variously boasting glittery “cat-o-nine-tails”, a Gucci brooch so large that it could treetop a child monarch, and rose-tinted, heart-shaped spectacles. The bad freezing that considered him nullify a Verona date a fortnight ago has clearly been banished.