Liverpool Echo, June 11, 2013

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Liverpool Echo

UK & Irish newspapers

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It's always a good year when Elvis comes to town


Marc Waddington

*****

When you've been touring for more than 30 years, it must get hard to keep reinventing the wheel, so to speak.

Certainly Elvis Costello has managed just that, though, and quite literally, with his Spectacular Spinning Songbook show.

The stage at the Philharmonic was set with a giant spinning wheel of fortune, on which were written the names of some of his greatest hits. And, in this age of interactivity, it would be for the audience to shape the course of events.

For one after the other, they were plucked from the stalls to spin the wheel and let fate decide which of his many masterpieces the rapt crowd would hear.

And thankfully, fate didn't disappoint (although granted there were some that just had to be played, whether the arrow landed on the right spot or not.)

And so the faithful were treated to classics such as the rollocking "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down," the booming "Radio," the marching "Oliver's Army" and the cacophonously brilliant "Man Out of Time," with the fabulous lyric "He's got a mind like a sewer and a heart like a fridge."

And that's not to mention the frenetic "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea" and "Watching the Detectives," with its sinister, accusatory guitar riff.

There is something very burlesque and vaudevillian about this show as Costello stalks around the stage under a top hat with a cane tucked under his elbow, when not chopping away at his Stratocaster, that is.

But the carnivalesque atmosphere subsided as he sang some of the slower, more haunting tunes such as Charles Aznavour's "She," the wistful "In Another Room" and of course the superb "Good Year For The Roses," which, with its line "the lawn could stand another mowing", is the ultimate autopsy of suburban break-up.

But perhaps the biggest ovation of the night went to "Shipbuilding" and "Tramp The Dirt Down," his hateful ode to Margaret Thatcher which is imbued with more vitriol than even Bob Dylan could have mustered for someone he hated.

Costello is certainly, like all those ships of yesteryear, among Merseyside's finest exports and one that everyone there last night would turn out time and time again to see come sailing back home.

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Liverpool Echo, June 11, 2013


Marc Waddington reviews Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Monday, June 10, 2013, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England.

Images

2013-06-10 Liverpool Echo photo 01.jpg
Elvis Costello on stage at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

2013-06-10 Liverpool Echo photo 02.jpg
Elvis Costello on stage at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

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