Translated by Sverre Ronny Sætrum
On Our Toes for a Humorous Costello
ELVIS COSTELLO, ROCKEFELLER, OSLO
TWO HOURS OF ENERGY AND HUMOUR
REVIEWED BY KURT HANSSEN
When Elvis Costello asks you to take a seat in the “Blue Chair”, he does not expect you to sit back and relax. First of all, because there were no seats available at Rockefeller Music hall, but mainly because Elvis kept us all on our toes with an energetic, engaging and humorous oncert. From the opening “Blue Chair”, it was two intense hours and Friday turned into Saturday without anyone noticing.Elvis Costello and The Imposters are on tour, mainly to promote Costello´s 21.album, but he´s also more than willing to dig deep into his musical past, which is a veritable treasure-chest. Basically, it´s almost like an old fashioned EC & The Attractions concert, the only difference being that Bruce Thomas is replaced by Davey Faragher. I´ll gladly admit that I missed the ingenious bass-playing of Bruce Thomas, but as usual, Professor Steve Nieve is brilliant on his array of keyboards, and Pete Thomas is the same utterly solid drummer as he´s always been.
The new songs from TDM, which, incidentally will soon be re-released as a double CD, is scattered throughout the set and he plays most of the album. Highlights included; “Heart-shaped bruise”, with Faragher stepping in for Emmylou Harris, “Country darkness”, and the beautiful “Nothing clings like Ivy”, while the title track will almost surely become another Costello-classic.
He treated his old fans to some of his classics, like “Radio, radio”, “Chelsea”, “Watching the detectives, and of course “Alison”, which segued into “Suspicious minds”. He did the same thing later on by letting; “Either side of the same town” segue into “Dark end of the street”.
During the night we were treated to a whole lot of tidbits from his 30 year long career, done both with bitterness and with a great sense of humour. The latter is most apparent when he does unspeakable things with his guitar. Most solos are left to Steve Nieve, though and Elvis has got a strong sense of irony regarding his own guitar-playing. But then, almost at the end of the night, he plays a blues where he treats us to a beautiful guitar solo, that no one would´ve thought him capable of.