Adopted Scouser, Elvis Costello looked out on a fast-changing Liverpool and begged people not to forget about places like the Picket.
Elvis and New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint play a fund-raising gig at the 300-capacity venue in Jordan Street tonight.
The Picket, formerly in Hardman Street, re-opened in its new home just over a year ago.
Founder Phil Hayes said today’s sold-out show will provide “vital funds to secure and sustain the venue”.
Breaking off from rehearsing classics such as Watching The Detectives and Pump It Up, Elvis aka Declan MacManus told the ECHO: “The Picket has been part of Liverpool’s cultural resistance and I think it’s important, now that a little money is coming into the city, that it doesn’t get pushed aside.
“Liverpool has always been culturally diverse.
“I never played the Picket, but myself and a lot of other people wouldn’t be here now if we’d not had the experience of playing in venues like this.”
Elvis, who said he’s be happy to return to play in the city in 2008 – “if anyone invites me” – added: I’m not knocking Capital of Culture but I just want to make sure people are not pushed to the margins.”
Although he was born in London, Elvis’s mother Lillian comes from Smithdown Road and his father Ross, a trumpeter and vocalist who performed with the Joe Loss Orchestra, from Birkenhead.
As a 16-year old Declan moved with his mother from London to West Derby, when his parents separated, and he was a pupil at the old St Francis Xavier school in Everton.