Glasgow Herald, February 23, 1993

From The Elvis Costello Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
- Bibliography -
13141516171819 20

Glasgow Herald

UK & Ireland newspapers


Brave move

Elvis Costello and Brodsky Quartet / Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

David Belcher

Dear doubting Thomas,

Allegro. Maestro. Montego. OK.

Having exhausted my classical lexicon, I'll say that it's 15 years since I first saw Elvis, 50 yards across the road atop the long-gone Apollo in a sticky-floored dancehall named Satellite City.

The new-wavefulness was terrific. If you'd told me then that Elvis would wind up being backed by a string quartet doing an epistolatory song-cycle inspired by a Veronese academic's replies to a dead imaginary woman, I'd have been epistolatingly speechless, pal.

Last night's show, the first live unveiling of The Juliet Letters, was thus part of a brave artistic move, with Elvis open to copping it from both sides of the unrock/non-classical divide.

Two biker-jacketed rock traditionalists next to me lasted seven songs. No catchy choruses.

Classicists perhaps winced at Elvis's palpable lack of vocal range and his penchant for the sub-operatic quaver.

Me? Along with almost everyone else I reckoned it utterly splendid, so gripping that no-one could have complained about the absence of more familiar songs from Elvis's rock canon.

The quartet sawed and swooped, jauntily expressive one moment, driven the next.

Elvis emoted like a good 'un.

Top tune? "I Almost Had a Weakness," wheeled out as a second triumphant encore, after "Scarlet Ribbons" and before Kurt Weill's "Lost in the Stars."

I must away to play the Juliet LP anew.

PS: I've not gone completely soft; if Sting tried anything like this, I'd hate it.


The Glasgow Herald, February 23, 1993

David Belcher reviews Elvis Costello and The Brodsky Quartet, Monday, February 22, 1993, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Scotland.


Back to top

External links