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UK Tour Program, 2005-02-01
Elvis Costello

UK Tour Program

"During our second visit to Memphis this year, we played a show at the Hi-Tone cafe - the small club in which we first performed during "The Delivery Man" sessions. The "Live in Memphis" DVD will be released by Eagle Rock on the 19th April. It features a guest appearance by Emmylou Harris, with whom I duet on "Heart Shaped Bruise" from "The Delivery Man" and also on Johnny Cash's "I still miss someone" and the Gram Parsons tune "Wheels".

I also understand that Concord Records are soon to issue a CD of my appearance on the wonderful radio programme "Piano Jazz" hosted by Marion McPartland. The format is very informal and I found myself discussing and performing songs that I have loved throughout my life, many of them standards. The collaboration with Marion McPartland was utterly spontaneous and very enjoyable. I have promised to return to the studio in the future and only sing songs that I don't already know.

Another upcoming release is the Rhino/Demon records re-issue of "King of America". This album which is a close musical relative of "The Delivery Man" was first released in 1985 and is now presented in a definitive edition including a number of previously unreleased outtakes and highlights from an "Elvis Costello and His Confederates" concert at the Broadway Theatre, New York City. Once again, I have tried to write accompanying notes that may interest those who enjoy this record.

The last few years have brought many of unexpected accolades and opportunities, and appearance in "The Simpsons", an abduction into "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" - about which I have returned to my original "Groucho Marx" position, if I may paraphrase: "I wouldn't want to be the member of any club that would have me as a member" - an Oscar nomination with my brother T Bone Burnett for "The Scarlet Tide", getting to smoke real Cubans and drink fake whiskey with Sean Penn during a guest appearance on the comedy show "Two and a Half men" and a recent bizarre Grammy nomination for a foxtrot, "Let's misbehave" from the motion picture "De Lovely".

I am currently working on songs telling an imaginary story about Hans Christian Andersen, PT Barnum and Jenny Lind. Some of you may have read that I am writing an opera, because the commission came from the Royal Danish Opera but in fact the story will be told originally in song form and developed into a full production in the future. The songs will be debuted in Copenhagen in October '05.

The Lincoln Center Festival, New York City in the summer of 2004 was a recent highlight. I performed over eighty songs during the three nights. <snip>... a large number of invitations have arrived from orchestral houses all over the world, some requesting a similar sequence of concerts and some wanting to perform "Il Sogno" either in full form or in suite form. Only time will tell how many such events will take place but I feel that live performance may provide the best opportunity for me to best present the full range [of] music that I love.

2005 will see a creative initiative using the Internet in my name. My previous attempt to communicate through this medium quickly descended into farce. I caught a horrid glimpse [into] the deluded and possessive vortex in which swirl the very creepy, over-opinionated, ill-informed weirdos that I have been trying to shake off my tail for the last twenty-five years. I hope that we shall be able to avoid such unpleasantness in the future and encounter only sweet-natured people such as your good selves.

Obviously I hope to continue to make rock and roll music records with the Imposters and also work with Steve Nieve and other friends such as the Brodsky Quartet but at a time in which the record industry is going through such upheaval, it is impossible to predict exactly where and when this will occur. Until those matters are resolved, we hope that you enjoy tonight's concert. We look forward to returning to your town before too long.

Yours through music. Elvis Costello