Elton John namechecks Disclosure and The Strypes as he receives Brits Icon award

Rod Stewart joined the singer onstage for his first performance since being hospitalised with appendicitis

Elton John namechecks Disclosure and The Strypes as he receives Brits Icon award

Photo: Press

Elton John performed at an intimate show at London's Palladium last night (September 2) to mark being awarded the inaugural Brit Icon award.

In his first performance since having to cancel a scheduled show in Hyde Park this summer due to appendicitis, John kicked off with 'I'm Still Standing', followed by 'Your Song'. The concert, filmed for an ITV special to broadcast on September 13, also featured interviews with Plan B, Josh Homme, Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran and tennis champion Billie Jean King, for whom John wrote 'Philadelphia Freedom'.

Dermot O'Leary hosted the event and interviewed the singer between each song, covering topics from his early years and first success in the US to his drug and drink addiction, flamboyant clothing and his constant championing of new music. Commenting on his favourite current bands, he singled out Disclosure, James Blake and John Grant among others.

"John Grant's not young but he's new to me and I love his albums," he said. "Disclosure are another band I love, I can't stop listening to their album. And The Strypes, who are signed to my management company.

"As soon as I saw them I wanted to meet them, they're the most exciting band I've seen in years," he added. "They've just got so much energy. If you could plug them into the grid they could power London. I love youth, and it keeps me young,. I love hearing new music, and I feed off it. Like a vampire."

He went on to talk of his own flamboyance and the importance of putting on a show for fans, singling out The Killers as a band who understand the idea. "Brandon makes the effort," he said. "That's one of the reasons they're so popular, they gives fans something special. U2 know about that too. I went to see Coldplay last year and their live show was incredible. I love bands like Little Feat and The Band that didn't have to do it, but I have to get dressed up. Mick Jagger the same. He couldn't on stage in his street clothes, he'd feel naked."

Asked by O'Leary whether he would be upset if his sons Zachary and Elijah, aged two and seven months, came home in their teens drunk or on drugs, John replied: "By then I'll be on a Stannah stairlift and I won't give a fuck."

He also spoke of the advert he answered in NME, looking for songwriters. It came at a time when he was considering quitting music, having performed "cabaret with fish-and-chips and chicken-in-a-basket singers."

"I'd been playing in blues clubs with the likes of Long John Baldry, but I was fed up and I thought there must be more to life than that, so I took a chance on that advert and thank God I did because I met Bernie and the rest is history."

To finish the show, Rod Stewart arrived on stage to present his "dear old mate" with the Icon award. They then performed 1984 hit 'Sad Songs (Say So Much)', from John's album 'Breaking Hearts'. Take That's Gary Barlow, Lulu, Pixie Lott, Maverick Sabre and Liz Hurley were among the audience. Elton John headlines Bestival this weekend. It was feared the show wouldn't go ahead after the singer's recent illness which has seen him cancel the rest of his scheduled UK tour.

Elton John played:

'I'm Still Standing'
'Your Song'
'Philadelphia Freedom'
'Bennie And The Jets'
'Tiny Dancer'
'Home Again'
'Rocket Man'
'Mexican Vacation'
'Sad Songs (Say So Much)' [with Rod Stewart]

Read More On This Artist

More News
Beck's 'Morning Phase' goes silver in UK after selling 60,000 copies
Zayn Malik looks to go solo after being pictured in recording studio with Naughty Boy
Justin Bieber joins Ariana Grande onstage to perform 'All That Matters' live - watch
Depeche Mode's Martin Gore announces solo album 'MG' and shares 'Europa...
East 17's Brian Harvey discusses struggles with depression and mental illness
Alt-J album 'This Is All Yours' certified gold in the UK
Jessie Ware joins Nicki Minaj onstage in London to perform 'The Crying Game' - watch
Destiny's Child reunite to perform at Stellar Gospel Music Awards - watch
Def Jam rapper's manager killed in a car park after planning anti-violence initiatives
Selfie sticks banned at US festivals
Jamie xx and Four Tet join forces on BBC Radio 1 – listen now
Prince in legal battle after releasing former The Voice contestant's album for free
New Tupac music to get future release
Beastie Boy Ad-Rock avoids touching 'monster' fish on Jimmy Fallon show
Major Lazer: 'England doesn't like us for some reason'
Leon Bridges performs 'Better Man' on 'The Late Late Show with James Corden'...
T-Pain releases new mixtape 'The Iron Way'
Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard covers Guided By Voices – watch
The Vaccines air four new songs in Nottingham
Footage from Kendrick Lamar's moving truck performance released as Reebok ad – watch
Charlie Wilson and Snoop Dogg perform 'Infectious' live on 'Kimmel' – watch
Sinkane shares experimental new video for 'Young Trouble' – watch

More News


Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM