London Evening Standard, November 21, 1994

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London Evening Standard

UK & Ireland newspapers


Seriously good sounds from the mimic master

Max Bell

Elvis Costello
Shepherd's Bush Empire

Got those Monday morning, didn't win the Lottery, could quite cheerfully strangle Noel Edmonds blues? You need some stimulation. Assume the position. Get serious.

Hmm, that sounds like an Elvis Costello album title. Even though the new, improved Ely is supposed to be the life and soul, I still reckon he's a bit serious. I was reading an article about him the other day which suggested that hell for Costello would be being stuck in a smoky room with a rock critic, which might imply he'd picked the wrong profession. You don't want to be a pop star Elvis, you want an outdoors job.

Still, there we were — all the young urban professionals — actually having fun with Costello and his cracking band the Attractions, all seemingly getting on swimmingly.

Second song in they did "New Amsterdam." Blinding. For a minute you almost knew what Paul McCartney was going on about when he said Elvis reminded him of Lennon.

Perhaps the secret of Costello's success is that he's a good mimic. He can do Bob Dylan — "Useless Beauty" — and, with the Attractions fired up for the vaudevillian "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror," emulate the Band. Elsewhere were echoes of an adult Clash and a musicality that stretched from Doorsy rock to the dub beats of "Watching The Detectives," much of it inspired the monstrously talented Steve Nieve on keyboards.

An impressive set included 100 per cent proof Elvis favourites: "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea," a slowed-down "Everyday I Write The Book" that nodded at "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" and the countrifed "Good Year For The Roses."

More importantly for the artist, his Brutal Youth material now sounds like part of the broken crockery with "Kinder Murder," for one, not lacking the vim and venom for which he is so renowned.

Tags: Shepherds Bush EmpireLondonThe AttractionsSteve NieveNew AmsterdamAll This Useless BeautyDeep Dark Truthful MirrorWatching The Detectives(I Don't Want To Go To) ChelseaEveryday I Write The BookI'll Never Fall In Love AgainGood Year For The RosesBrutal YouthKinder MurderPaul McCartneyJohn LennonBob DylanThe BandThe ClashThe Doors

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The Evening Standard, November 21, 1994

Max Bell reviews Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Friday, November 18, 1994, Shepherds Bush Empire, London, England.


1994-11-21 London Evening Standard page 67 clipping 01.jpg

Page scan.
1994-11-21 London Evening Standard page 67.jpg



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