Music review: Elton John, Hydro, Glasgow

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NO one could ever accuse Elton John of shirking.

Elton John

Hydro, Glasgow

Star rating: ****

For over two hours tonight he performed virtually non-stop as part of a year-long world tour, following hot on the stack-heels of last year’s expedition celebrating the 40th anniversary of classic album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

He began with a salvo from that opus, including prog-pop epic Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding, Bennie and The Jets and a perfunctory Candle In The Wind. No one needs to hear that overplayed schlock again, least of all Elton. He looked far more driven on Yellow Brick deep-cut All The Girls Love Alice, and visibly hit his stride during the jubilant Philadelphia Freedom.

When particularly enthused he broke out that signature O-mouthed rock face – the one where he looks like he’s caught his privates in the piano lid – and flashed endearing little smiles at the crowd.

Despite his superstar status, in those fleeting moments he still resembled the shy, chubby, music-loving kid from Pinner. Even an old pro like Elton can’t fake that humanity.

Though his upper-register is long gone – Levon was virtually unrecognisable – his reduced vocal range added weathered tenderness to Tiny Dancer and a solo Your Song.

But as an entertainer, the man is indefatigable. His marathon climaxed with – what else? - a gaudy tumult of rockers including The Bitch Is Back, Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting and Crocodile Rock. Age shall not wither his showbiz spirit.