Melody Maker, May 20, 1978

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Melody Maker


Model Elvis

Stanley Mieses

Without question, the most exciting rock 'n' roll show to hit New York in some time was the triple-bill of Nick Lowe (and Rockpile), Mink Deville, and Elvis Costello.

Costello's This Year's Model is one of the hottest-selling albums in New York, and, coupled With Elvis' statement that he won't return to the US until 1979 (we're getting otherwise), an extra midnight show had to be added to the Palladium's schedule, and it too was a near-sellout.

This measure of Elvis' triumph in New York was eloquently elucidated by one of his most varied and, by contrast to his first Stateside performances, daring sets, which climaxed an excellent show Saturday evening.

Elvis opened with the first ballad, excepting "Alison," that I've heard him do in five shows here — a baroque-sounding slow chiller, "Accidents Will Happen," I believe is the title.

The right edge of the clipping was cropped, so the remainder of the transcription is missing some words, represented below by "-xxx-".

"Alison" was given an emotional and fresh reading, and Elvis displayed heretofore undeveloped stage moves that filled the big hall with a positive charge. "Party Girl" was the third ballad in the set, and it sounded like the kind of song you'd hear at a neighbourhood dance — the last song, when they turned the lights low and let you grind it out (if you were lucky) for a good ten minutes — only Elvis' vend-xxx- inspired lyrics created a friction all their own.

As a parting shot (before the encores), he slashed through "Radio Radio," a song which is gaining popularity (and -xxx-cally, losing its relevancy) because of Elvis' radio ai-xxx- ratings.

Nick Lowe was well-received in his New York debut, -xxx- probably could nave returned for an encore, such was -xxx- "heavy mitting" (Variety's term for good applause) for -xxx- set.

Lowe is an expert joiner of derivative licks and lyrical qu-xxx- and the result is a wholly new-fashioned sound. Mink DeVille on the other hand, struck me as being in the same business, but they are derivating with a difference — rock and rhythm and blues with more nostalgic overtones and stage quirks, but the result is somehow less satisfying.

Maybe it was their eclecticism that reduced their pu-xxx- or perhaps it was the constant focus on Willy DeVille, who is quite a good singer, but not great; still their set can hardly be described as a low point. The crowd called them back for an encore.

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Melody Maker, May 20, 1978

Stanley Mieses reports on Elvis Costello & The Attractions with opening acts Nick Lowe and Mink DeVille, Saturday, May 6, 1978, Palladium, New York, NY.


1978-05-20 Melody Maker clipping 01.jpg

1978-05-20 Melody Maker cover 1.jpg


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