Stiff got the billing right for Bristol anyway, Ian Dury was the star turn. It was a good night, fair turnout and a nice atmosphere.
Live entertainment was introduced in the form of Nick Lowe, a great producer but a shit performer. Nick was joined by Larry Wallis, (the hairiest thing I've seen since I last went down the Granary) and Housewife/Superstar, Dave Edmunds on drums and later, guitar, several other faceless/nameless musicians completed the line up. Some of the songs were good pop but most of the stuff was either heavy metal or country style Brinsley music. I hated it.
Wreckless Eric was next, and Ian Dury made his first appearance of the night as Eric's drummer. Ian's bird, Denise was on bass, and the saxophonist looked like some crazed beat poet. "Semaphore Signals" opened the set, and along with the A side of the single, "Whole Wide World" easily provided the highlight of Eric's short set. Eric is short set. The rest didn't really stick in my mind, though I do remember the saxist Davey Paine blasting away at the Benny Hill theme tune.
Elvis Costello I'm still not sure about. Some of his songs I love ("Alyson" is the best ballad I've ever heard). He's one of the main reasons for 1977 being the year of the classic 45 r.p.m. single. In fact its the pure magnificense of some of his pop songs that pales the rest of the set in comparison. The Attractions are pretty dire though, perhaps these guys should become computer operators! Elvis spits and dribbles his way to the end of the set and predictably gets called back for an encore.
For some people the night was over when Elvis exited, but for some of us it all started with Ian Dury's entrance. This guy was a Punk rocker when the Sunday Papers were doing ShockHorror investigations into Alice Cooper and girls like that. Ask Johnny Rotten who his real Dad is — Ian. It was a sight for sore eyes to see the Rock 'n' Roll cripple sweating out his poetry on a stage again. A big thanx to Stiff for that anyway. "Sex and Drug, and rook and roll" made us dance, it's all my brain and body need, great band — very good indeed!
Ian Dury, the man with the black glove, the man who transformed razor blades into jewallry, rock and rolled, boogied and partyed his way through a great show.
Everyones been saying that Elvis Costello looks a real wimpoid, well compared to some of the guys on this the first ever Stiff package tour, Elvis is some kinda superman!