While not always in harmony themselves (not entirely uncommon among siblings, regardless of age) it was, however, concurred con spirito by the Brothers Rue that Ray McRobbie and the Radisson Blu Hotel team are perfectly tuned-in to the demand in Doha for Nostalgic Rock ‘n Roll Thursday Nights (NRRTN), once again offering the audience just what it wanted – this time Sir Reginald Kenneth Dwight, aka Elton John, in the shape of the ’Ultimate Elton and The Rocket Band’.
Another packed Giwana Ballroom, another gourmet buffet and matching accoutrements, another lively, eagerly expectant audience and another superbly professional ‘tribute genre’ performance, again refreshing the parts other shows cannot reach.
The charmingly erudite Paul Bacon, uncannily Elton-esque in size, shape, demeanour, voice and vocal range (small wonder, remarked one Brother Rue (who shall remain nameless) that Paul was voted the UK’s No 1 Elton John tribute act in 2017 – and was a favourite of Elton’s mother …)– and who even wore the sort of wig favoured by Elton himself. However, the Rues agreed, it was unlikely to conceal a similarly disastrous hair transplant to that performed on Pioneering Elton in Paris some decades ago when repositioned tufts of his own hair, neatly aligned and spaced, were seemingly expected by the optimistic surgeon to spread in the same way as growing grass will eventually cover a lawn. No such luck (cue one of ‘Reggie’s Little Moments’, no doubt) – the tufts remained planted where they were, with the same spacing between, until further transplants and (according to Rod Stewart) weaving saved the day.
Without, as far as the Rues could observe, a rug between them the (musically speaking) ‘tight’ Rocket Band of four provided the backing for the magic formula to prevail again, even to the extent that one Rue (who shall also remain nameless) was to be glimpsed amid the throng as on to the battered wooden flooring strode the dance-minded 400.
Overcoming initial sound distortion more than 20 hits were performed to perfection – no need to close your eyes, it was Elton – including Bennie and the Jets, Rocket Man, Daniel, I Guess That’s Why … Candle in the Wind, Don’t Let the Sun … Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Your Song, Pinball Wizard and, for an encore (complete, noted the other Brother Rue, with added syllable) ‘Sac-er-i-fice’.
Paul Bacon’s keyboard playing was reinforced by the classically trained Grant Foster’s (it’s easy to overlook what an accomplished pianist is the also classically-trained Elton John); with Chris Voysey lead guitar/vocals; Chris Hook, bass/vocals; and Russ Wilson, drums and vocals – each so good you couldn’t imagine a fabber four alongside the Ultimate Elton.
As one eminently satisfied Brother Rue afterwards opined it would be difficult to imagine today’s’ rappers and hip-hop artists Jay-Z, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and Dr Dre similarly inspiring tribute acts in the coming decades …
And as similarly satiated sibling Rue suggested – why not plan our calendars on such similarly enticing events as Beatlemania on Thursday 3 May or Forever Eagles on Thursday 25 October.
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