Bristol Post, June 3, 2013

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Bristol Post

UK & Ireland newspapers


Elvis Costello at Colston Hall

Gerry Brooke


That endlessly creative, prolific — and energetic — performer Elvis Costello just can't stop touring.

Here he was once again, not quite as skinny as he once was, wearing in a smart three-piece suit, on stage at the Colston Hall.

Still, at times, playing the angry young man, and craftily hiding his age under a by-now familiar natty hat, it's hard to credit his 58 years.

Accompanying him once more was the Spectacular Spinning Songbook, a massive fairground-inspired wheel packed with a plethora of songs from his 35 year long career.

The brightly lit wheel was helped along by Josephine, the singer's green-clad female assistant who's no mean dancer, too.

Spun after each number by members of the audience, Costello and his band, the talented Imposters, perform whichever song comes up next.

The wheel's songs includes a mix of pop, punk, country and rock 'n' roll, plus a random "Jackpot" of surprises.

It's certainly a novel way of keeping the fans on their toes, trying to guess what might be coming next from the music master's vast repertoire.

Those chosen to come on stage were bravely invited to enter into the spirit of the evening with the band's energetic dancer.

Costello's two and a half hour long, 25 song plus performance in front of a packed and lively house, didn't disappoint.

The fans were obviously overjoyed to see their favourite song-smith back in town, full of the political fire which gave us such beautifully crafted songs as the mournful, "Shipbuilding" and the anti-Thatcher snarl, "Tramp the Dirt Down."

To everyone's delight Costello somehow managed to fit them both in.

The concert got off to a stomping start with the old Sam and Dave number, "I can't stand up for falling down," and The Stones, "This could be the last time."

Later, as the pace cooled, came a personal favourite, the George Jones' country inspired composition, "Good Year for the Roses," beautifully executed by Costello.

Two hours later — without the traditional a break — came a roof raising finale which had the whole place on their feet, clapping and dancing, an almost continuous medley of hits — "(I don't want to go to) Chelsea," "Accidents will Happen," "Pump it up," and "Watching the Detectives."

With a whole clutch of memorable back numbers, plus some surprises, by one of the country's greatest performers, it was an evening not to be missed, close up and personal.

This was Costello's third gig in a gruelling 18 date UK tour which includes a set at the Glastonbury Festival and in London's Hyde Park.


Bristol Post, June 3, 2013

Gerry Brooke reviews Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Sunday, June 2, 2013, Colston Hall, Bristol, England.


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