Grinding Halt, No. 10, 1981

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Grinding Halt
  • 1981 No. 10



Elvis Costello

Manchester Apollo

Grinding Halt

Support band for tonight were called Mike and the Mistakes, all the way from Sweden. Apart from the fact that one of their lead singers is an extremely attractive looking blonde, they haven't got much going for them. Musically very average, though I must admit I found it difficult not to watch, my attention being concentrated on.....well I guess you all know which member of the band.

The Apollo could never be noted for its atmosphere, but tonight it was even worse than usual — it was completely flat. Costello was greeted with very tepid applause. He opened with a volley of four singles — "Radio Radio," "Pump It Up," "Oliver's Army" and "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea." He then proceeded to go through some old album tracks, a few from Trust and then some more old singles were slipped in later, notably "Watchin' The Detectives," part of the first encore, and "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down." Also played was "Big Tears" and "Possession." Most of the songs we wanted to hear were there, but quite frankly I thought the show was quite dismal. Not only has Costello ceased to be essential listening, but he is no longer essential viewing (if indeed he ever was — this was in fact the first time I'd seen him.) He bored me to tears. There was very little movement, no aggression — all in all a very stale performance. He failed to get the audience really moving and was greeted for the most part with polite applause and a few cheers. Even "Oliver's Army" failed to stir any sort of reaction. Funnily enough, despite the general apathy of the audience they all seemed to go away happy, saying how good it was. Couldn't see it myself I'm afraid. One of Elvis' final comments, no doubt inspired by the fact that the gig was on a Sunday, was that it was "better than going to church, innit?". Well...


Grinding Halt, No. 10, 1981

Grinding Halt reviews Elvis Costello & The Attractions and opening act Dave & The Mistakes, Sunday, March 8, 1981, Apollo Theatre, Manchester, England.


1981-00-10 Grinding Halt page 23.jpg
Page scan.

1981-00-10 Grinding Halt cover.jpg


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