It'll be alright on the night Denis Norden used to say. Maybe Tonight...last night however Elton got another award, I do feel the CDM award is just one wrapper away at this stage. Elton in the pics looks slimmed down, any recent illness will take that toll on you. Always best to carry a bit in reserve when those occasions arise...the BRITS as a brand is known worldwide. Whatever the merits of it in 2013, there is one aspect of this award that can't be denied. Elton is and always will be the first recipient.
Now onto the main course...according to all sources, not rumours, though they could have spread into panic, there was the sight of work in progress. The work being the melding together of Elton and the band and the new songs. Two of which are friends, the other one only meeting up with the other two just this last weekend. So very likely there was going to be that awkward moment, where hands and feet would be slightly out of step with the other half. Or two thirds as in this case, so more hands and feet. Ok, the band messed up on Mexican Vacation. Elton redone Home Again for quality purposes. Did anyone notice? The diehards would, analyse it, use it as a yardstick for later peformances. The great and the good at it probably were calculating when they would be eligible for the award...in the great scheme of things it's a minor thing. Unfortunately it happened on the debut performance of the songs, on a tv show where they will eventually, hopefully, be played to the viewing millions.
Joe and Josephine Public are not aware of the goings on in the hallowed walls of Eltonia. And how this project has been a difficult journey of delays, extra sessions..and of course the divergence of the songs into two different life forms. One alien to me, the other of this world. So when you get the artist and his songs having to essentially try and connect with his band after recording them with another set of people after a long incubation period from recording them till now there's going to be bit of position adjusting. The feet and hands like I said earlier...the EJ band will play them differently...and better. From all accounts both songs done with the band were superior to the versions we've heard already. Am I surprised, no. What I am surprised though is that the penny may be finally dropping for those who were of the more unorthodox view, if it hasn't already bounced back up again. The crying shame is, and too many tears have flowed my eyes over this, the lasting legacy will be the studio album. The powerful live performances will not be lost on those lucky enough to attend those shows where Elton does the songs. The Union tour proved that.
Through the wonders on Facebook...it does have it's uses sometimes...I've had a very unique insight into the rehearsal aspect for these songs. The weren't cobbled together at the back of the stage minutes before they hopped on. Sessions in LA and in London with the additional musicians used for the performance. Homework done and corrected. Elton is still hearing the others in his head...and then bang, his own band kick in. Only time will kill the passing uncertainty...the brave thing to do by ITV would be to show the false starts, that the polished world of Elton does need a rag applied to it in order to get the glossy finish.
Very few things are certain in life. One is prices going up, And it will rain. And the live versions of these songs will improve vastly. I'm a great believer in perspective, when this show is viewed in the future it will be an example of why the band should have been on the album. From day one. Because if they had moulded themselves into the songs...as they have done on one or two or a score and ten, then this blog post would not be happening. Look back on all the debut shows of the 00's albums, no such happenings as is reported from last night. SFTWC at the BBC Radio Theater in London. Tremendous show, a whole raft of songs down from that album with no hitches. Ditto Peachtree Road. But here's the clincher. The Hollywood Palladium show in 2010, often cited on this blog as the 'lost' Union promo show, featured Elton's band, Leon's band and musicians from the album sessions. A myriad of characters with special guest Booker T. And every single song performed impeccably superior. This sort of stop start happenings on new material are as rare as hen's teeth dentists...
To use last night's performance as some statement by band members to emote their feelings about the project is a questioning of their professionalism and integrity. These guys are pros. They own the block...all around. Whatever onstage discussion took place is merely a backstage moment. For the world to see. Work in progress. The learning curve is steep, but taller hills have been climbed and summits sat on. Unless there's communication in the ranks, whether it be in the simulator or in combat, accidents will occur. It happened, it's sorted and the work got done. And the music will progress...with work.