Belfast Telegraph, January 14, 2002

From The Elvis Costello Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
- Bibliography -
1415161718 19 20 21

Belfast Telegraph

UK & Irish newspapers


Landmine Free World

Waterfront Hall

Neil McKay

Charity concerts have an often well deserved reputation for naffness.

But this show last night got just about everything right.

First up was the remarkable cast of musicians — Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith, Steve Earle, Elvis Costello and John Prine, with help on keyboards from James Hooker.

Then there was the cause, a truly global charity that makes a real difference to some of the poorest, most disadvantaged people in the world.

But it was the tone of the evening that was most impressive.

Sober and restrained, but never stuffy, there was no cheap sloganeering from the stars.

There was a "silent auction" for the scarf Emmylou Harris wore, but the only "hard sell" came from campaign founder Bobby Muller just before the half-time intermission.

Muller, a US soldier who was paralysed in the Vietnam war, spoke movingly about the evils of landmines, and the continuing threat they pose to innocent civilians in countries like Cambodia and Afghanistan.

He was the meat in a musical sandwich of some often sublime performances.

The five performers shared the stage from start to finish, taking it in turns to play their songs.

It was a neat mix of the familiar and the surprising, with Costello earning a spontaneous round of applause when he dedicated an angry version of U2's "Please" to "teachers and postmen".

Prine lightened the atmosphere with some humour, wryly observing before his first song that he was in the Waterfront just last month and had got the same dressing room, same hotel room, and same clothes.

Most of the highlights came in the second half, with Harris and Earle duetting on Earle's "Goodbye," "one of the saddest songs ever written" said Harris, an excellent new song from Costello, and an encore of Griffith's "It's A Hard Life', a song originally written in, and about Northern Ireland, but with a resonance far beyond these shores.


Belfast Telegraph, January 14, 2002

Neil McKay reviews the Landmine Free World concert, Sunday, January 13, 2002, Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland, with Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith and John Prine.


Back to top

External links