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Two Performers Offer Thoughts About Elton

Tuesday 30 December 2008 @ 16:07 - GMT

A Macclesfield musician is hoping a New Year's Eve gig with a legend ''blasts his band into the big time,'' to quote the Express.

Prestbury-based Ben Beer and his group Sealife, are still pinching themselves after Elton invited them to play for a crowd of 18,000 at Londons O2 Arena.

"It means we have a really good reply when someone asks: What are you doing at New Year?, " the 34-year-old declared.

"We can say were playing at Elton Johns O2 gig!"

Sealife's members have been receiving kudos from the music industry and are hoping for huge things in 2009, starting off with meeting Sir Elton.

Former Webpage designer Ben formed the ensemble with pal and guitarist David Boardman, drummer Andy Nixon, and bassist Dan McKimma, and the foursome went on to secure a management deal not long after.

Elton heard the groups medley of tunes likened by Ben to Coldplay and U2 through the bands management and duly asked them to play the once-in-a-lifetime show.

Beer said: "He asked us to do it through the management and Elton has got a tradition of asking acts he likes to come and perform.

"Its amazing. A fantastic thing to happen to us. Weve grown up with his music."

But even though Sealife are facing in excess of 18,000 screaming fans, the guys are remaining surprisingly relaxed.

"Its the biggest gig weve played by a long way, but were not nervous. Were just going to go out there and enjoy it because things like this dont come along every day," said Ben. "But we are practising a lot before we go down to London!"

The New Years Eve show could just be the start of things to come, as Sealife are lined up to play at the South by Southwest Festival, one of Americas biggest gatherings of bands and musicians.

Another in the public eye who has recently spoken glowingly about Elton is Kelly Osbourne.

The TV presenter says Elton and his partner have always been there for her and the rest of her family.

''Through everything when mum had cancer and dad had his accident theyre the only ones that hung around to make sure we were all right,'' she says.

''Theyre true family friends. I dont think theres anything I could do to repay them for what theyve done for us.''

The 24-year-old says she never gets star struck around the singer as she's always been surrounded by famous faces.

''It really isnt weird to me. Hes Uncle Elton.

''I guess growing up surrounded by people in the music industry made me judge people as I find them. Everyone is the same really.''