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Elton John World News: A Royal Flush

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The September 22nd UK Charity Concert

Wednesday 23 September 2009 @ 15:25 - GMT

Last night Elton did a concert to raise funds for the purchase of a new organ by the Royal Academy of Music.

''Not just any old organ, but a 14-tonne, Swiss-engineered monster that will cost £1.2million to install, a sizeable chunk of which will be met from the proceeds of this long, commanding and expensive performance,'' observed the Times.

Beginning with the title track of his 1992 album The One, Elton ''hammered the keys of the piano with the precision and authority of a classical player, while singing in his distinctively frayed tenor,'' to quote the British publication.

At the end of the song he stood and received the first of countless standing ovations. Other numbers included The Emperor's New Clothes, The Greatest Discovery and Border Song

The percussionist Ray Cooper arrived during Funeral for a Friend. He accompanied Sir Elton on a vast array of instruments: tubular bells, conga drums, timbales, wind chimes, a huge gong, and assorted cymbals, shakers and tambourines.

After an encore of Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting the headliner (seen below at last evening's event) signed a few autographs and left the stage having performed for just under three hours without written lyrics, sheet music or any other prompts.

At the end of August, the rocker had been criticised for utilising an autocue at a private birthday party in Monaco. 

His publicists denied that he needed a prompter to help him remember the words, saying it helped Elton keep to the running order of his hour-long medley of hits.



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