During the concert gets my admiration for Elvis Costello increasing. And Pete Thomas drumming and Davey Faragher's bass playing; it is bitwise overwhelming. Alongside this drops my tolerance of Steve Nieve's pompous , and at times simply dreadful synth loops and his exaggerated moves. As long as he hammers at his piano or plays the organ so be it, but his little plastic synth and dance sounds they produce makes me really cross.
So there we have a blot in the protocol. I had expected more, Costello's no artist that it is easy to like, he often change direction, exaggerating its artistry and makes places severe listened and tricky music. A concert by Costello may therefore look a little either way, depending on which side of his multifaceted talent he wants to highlight.
But this evening, he is just the way most of us want him. His band - The Imposters - is basically The Attractions, only bassist replaced. And his latest album, "Delivery Man", is a Costello album of fairly classic cut, there are a couple of stunning ballads, some really good pop songs and a few indigestible spexiga number. Around the time the album came Deutsche Grammophon released his "Il Sogno," a ballet inspired by Shakespeare's " A Midsummer Night's Dream," and both his new and old audience expressed their gratitude that he no longer tries to fuse classical music and rock. Both discs are rather successful in their respective genres.
The approach also seems to have given him the freedom to work with The Imposters, for now he pulls himself not to strip a string of old hit songs from the 70s and early 80s. They also melts well with his new rock material.
The four older men on stage are incomparable musicians and it was a long time since I heard music with such incredible drive and so relentlessly focus (apart from some of Nieve's efforts of course). Costello sings brilliantly.
The first set is fantasy ideal, the songs are put together and harvested at a high tempo. There are few younger bands that bothered measure up to the intensity of Costello and his backing. Older songs like " Radio Radio," "(I do not want to go to ) Chelsea" and "Watching the Detectives " interspersed with songs from his latest album. Since they do a quick salute and runs off the stage, applauded back and play just as long. The concert is just over two hours and boredom arises only at the end when Costello holds us hostage and - in anticipation of "Peace, love and understanding" - are forced to suffer through a number of blues rock songs with saggiga jampartier. There was even a blot in the protocol.
Incidentally, it was as you can imagine radiant.