Elvis Costello releases his first new album in two years on February 6. And he goes on the road in May and June for a solo tour which includes a month of Sundays at the London Palladium.
The album, Spike, is Costello's first for WEA, and was recorded in London, Dublin, New Orleans and Hollywood. It was produced by Costello, Kevin Killen and T Bone Burnett, who also produced King Of America, and toured with Elvis on his last solo dates two years ago. Burnett and Costello recorded together, too, as The Coward Brothers.
Spike, Costello's twelfth studio album, comprises "This Town," "Let Him Dangle," "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror," "Veronica," "God's Comic," "Chewing Gum," "Tramp The Dirt Down," "Stalin Malone (Instrumental)," "Satellite," "Pads, Paws & Claws," "Baby Plays Around," "Miss Macbeth," "Any King's Shilling" and "Last Boat Leaving." An extra track, "Coal-Train Robberies," features on the cassette and CD versions.
Some of these tracks will be familiar to Costello-watchers. "Any King's Shilling" was a highlight of the set at his shows at the Royal Albert Hall with The Confederates and The Attractions. A moving song about the departure to war, it appeared to complete the trilogy started by "Pills And Soap" and "Shipbuilding."
"Any King's Shilling" also featured in Costello's Shetland Folk Festival appearances last year. So did "Let Him Dangle," an anti-hanging song inspired by the Craig/Bentley case. Derek Bentley, 19, and Christopher Craig, 16, were found guilty of murdering a policeman in London in 1952. It was Craig who fired the fatal shot, but he escaped the rope because he was underage. Bentley, who had not carried out any violence during the attack, was hanged. The shooting happened after police interrupted on attempted robbery and chased Bentley and Craig to the roof of a warehouse.
"Veronica" is expected to be released as the next Costello single.
The tour will find Costello appearing as a solo performer with Nick Lowe, his former producer, as special quest. They will play together at the end of each show.
Dates open at London Palladium on May 7, continuing at Liverpool Royal Court (10 and 11), Manchester Apollo (12), London Palladium (14), Belfast Opera House (16 and 17), Dublin Stadium (19 and 20), London Palladium (21), Newcastle City Hall (24), Edinburgh Playhouse (25), Glasgow Pavilion (26), Landon Palladium (28), Cardiff St David's Hall (June 8) and Bristol Colston Hall (9).
Tickets are on sale from box offices and usual agents from February 3. They cost £8.50 and £7.50 in Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle and Bristol, £8.50, £8 and £7.50 in Manchester, £6 and £5 in Liverpool, £10.50 and £9.50 in Belfast, £12.50 and £10.50 Irish punts in Dublin and £13.50, £12.50 and £11.50 in London.