After the Stiff article in issue 1, it was annoying that almost
at the same time Riviera (reportedly) left Stiff taking with him, Elvis
Costello and Nick Lowe.
Still, last night there was no signs of any rift and at about 8pm
(half an hour late) Nick Lowe bounced on stage, with Larry Wallis on lead,
and straight into "So It Goes." The sound is pretty clear and the band
are making their own "wall of sound." Wait a minute; it can't be, but
there on drums is Mr. Dave Edmunds. [later on I ask him about
the rift as in NME and he replies "Oh, Nick Lowe is such a cunt. One day
I'll tell you what a cunt he is" and goes off laughing.] "Shake That Rat"
plus an unreleased B-side follow. then Larry Wallis does "On Parole"
and "Police Car," before Dave straps on his guitar. Fabulous. The set
ends with "Heart Of The City." Brilliant. I just wish I hadn't been
constrained by my seat, cos this was some set.
Next on was Wreckless Eric, who looked like a lost waif (the
Michael Crawford of the new wave?). His between-songs raps suffered
from excesses of dialect and drink.But when he started singing — wow.
With Ian Dury playing drums, he did "Semaphore Signals" and "Whole Wide
World" — which was magic. Didn't catch the titles of the others.
Now for the real star — Elvis. The sound was so much better
than at Tiffanys ["Oh that was terrible. Tonight was really good."]
He ran through "Working Week," "Blame It On Cain," "Red Shoes," "Waitin'
For The End Of The World," a couple of newies ["This is for the girls —
it's called 'Hand In Hand.'"], "Less Than Zero," "Allison," another new one
totally unlike anything on the album, "Watching The Detectives,"
["It'll be out tomorrow (Friday), with two live songs on the B-side."],
"I'm Not Angry" and as an encore "Mystery Dance" with Elvis doing his
album cover pose. His band, the Attractions, were really good, considerin'
they weren't on the album. Their set was, surprisingly well suited
to a large theatre and everyone loved it. [Why didn't you play "Chelsea"
Elvis: We've got so many numbers and not enough time." But you played
longer than I expected. "Originally Larry Wallis was to play a full set,
but now we we had to do more."] He certainly did do more.
Last up was ex-Kilburns main man, Ian Dury. I'm pretty
unfamiliar with most of his songs, but he has an engaging
stage presence and I really enjoyed it. [Why didn't you do
"Razzle In My Pocket" — "Can't do it, mate."] In fact, he was so
good that he was called back for an encore and did "Sex,
Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll" again, being joined by Dave Edmunds
on guitar with Wreckless Eric, plus (on backing vocals) Elvis,
Larry Wallis, an Attraction, Eric's chick bassist, and eventually
Ian's personal roadie, Fred (see NME cover).
Magic, simply magic.
When ya gonna dump some more music on us?