His songs include "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea." But today, it seems, Elvis Costello isn't welcome in Hampstead and Highgate.
The rock singer will play the first of 10 outdoor concerts on 2 July in the Music On A Summer Evening series at Kenwood House on the edge of Hampstead Heath. The Saturday-shows, which attracted 70,000 last year, will also include Will Young, Grease the Musical, Jools Holland and Katie Melua, plus three classical shows and nine fireworks finales. But local groups say the shows are noisy, inappropriate for the venue and bring disruptive traffic. Brendan Nolan, spokesman for the Highgate Society, said: "The fireworks disturb the neighbourhood.
"They used to have symphony concerts at Kenwood in summer but that has disappeared since the programme was taken over in 2000." IMG Arts and Entertainment stages the event for English Heritage, which owns the neoclassical house. Jasper Hope, IMG European general manager, said: "This is not Glastonbury, it is middle-of-the road entertainment aimed at a specific type of audience. It is families from north London - they do not cause trouble."
Residents will be able to state their case when Camden council considers the public entertainment licence on 6 June.