Nottingham Evening Post, May 21, 2012

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Nottingham Evening Post

Newspapers
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Wheel's on fire with Costello's rage and delicacy


Sean Hewitt

I've seen loads of Elvis Costello gigs. I've seen him with the Attractions. accompanied only by keyboard player Steve Nieve – even as part of a John Harle pop/classical tour.

But I've never seen anything like Saturday night's Costello show.

With a gaudy 15ft illuminated spinning wheel festooned with song titles, a glamorous female assistant and an even more glamorous go-go dancer in a "cage," this was a considerably more upbeat, outgoing Elvis than before.

With a huge back catalogue – and a two-hour-and-40-minute running time with no interval – the night's big gimmick was dragging (mainly female) audience members up on stage to spin the wheel and "choose" the next song.

With The Imposters on blazing form (Nieve's keys, Pete Thomas's drums and Costello's own guitar work were especially impressive), highlights included "Beyond Belief," "Shabby Doll," "I Want You," "Watching The Detectives," "Everyday I Write The Book" and, powering towards the end, no-holds-barred, rocket-fuelled takes on "(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea," "Pump It Up" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding."

There was also some sharp wit as Elvis, with top hat and cane, prowled the stage as host Napoleon Dynamite.

Occasionally the mix was foggy but the music's power overcame it. And the true peaks were the quieter, more intense moments, ranging from a delicate "Alison" to Costello's seething political rage on the oddly-still-topical "Shipbuilding" and "Tramp The Dirt Down."

The wheel was truly on fire. And so was the show.

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Nottingham Evening Post, May 21, 2012


Sean Hewitt reviews Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Saturday, May 19, 2012, Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, England.


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