Glasgow Herald, February 3, 1987

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Glasgow Herald

UK & Ireland newspapers


Elvis Costello and The Confederates

Playhouse, Edinburgh

David Belcher

For his third visit to Auld Dreichie — sorry, make that "the Scottish capital" — inside the past two months, Elvis on Sunday night unveiled an all-star guest backing band, an almost entirely new repertoire, and a different stage persona, to wit, genial Uncle Ely, the eccentric relative at every family party. He plucked a tot from the front row to sing and dance with; he did a strange solo samba; he tap-danced silently; he wasn't like this in November.

It was hard to know exactly what to make of him, and so for once an Edinburgh audience's lack of response (other than by snowing daft, attention-seeking things at all the wrong moments) was part-way understandable.

"Everybody stand up," was the most sensible, most heartfelt cry from the crowd, followed by an equally impassioned "Come to Glasgow."

The bulk of the performance drew on the King of America album. Live, as on that disc, we were privileged to hear one of the most impressive, most time-honoured bands ever assembled. Wherever rock icons have been formed over the past 30 years, there have been Confederates, too: James Burton played with Presley, Jerry Sheff with the Doors, Jim Keltner has played with everyone in between. Yet despite their excellence, the highlights came when Elvis sang alone. At other points the upright, paternal Burton, in his comfy tweed jacket with elbow patches or his sensible jumper, looked either perplexed (as Edinburghers wandered in and out, sat still, vegetated) or slightly deafened.

For true loudness, James (and Elvis), you should next time sample a Glasgow welcome.


The Glasgow Herald, February 3, 1987

David Belcher reviews Elvis Costello and The Confederates, Sunday, February 1, 1987, Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland.


1987-02-03 Glasgow Herald clipping 01.jpg


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