I have just returned from the Dominion Theatre, where Elvis Costello gave one of the seven concerts arranged for this week. The evening was a sell-out and we were anticipating quite a concert. What we got can only be termed an absolute rip-off.
They began a lifeless set that was far below the standard of recorded material. The audience, however, were determined to make the most of it, presumably in the hope that their enthusiasm might spread to the stage. It did not, and as the band carelessly raced through each song, with Costello engaging in conversations with members of the band, he added insult to injury by making yawning gestures.
Costello may well have missed the applause, since he decided to dispense with song titles (largely unnecessary since it was almost all old material) and ran each song into the next. Forty minutes after the set began. Costello and the Attractions walked off and immediately the safety curtain came down. Having paid £4 for tickets the audience stayed for ten minutes, clapping and shouting, but the band did not reappear.
When a sound engineer was asked why Costello had done this, he said: "It was probably because the audience wasn't dancing." I find it hard to believe that I was in the same audience as him, since in the stalls many people were dancing.
I very much doubt that this insult to the audience would have occurred if this had been the opening night at the Dominion, but since it is unlikely that any member of the music press would be attending the fourth night, it was presumably deemed to be all right to ruin the evening of a couple of thousand "ordinary" people. He has certainly lost one fan tonight and I suspect he has lost hundreds more.
— D. Wellington, Charlton Road, Charlton, London.