Q, unknown date, 1993

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UK & Ireland magazines



Elvis Costello

David Cavanagh

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For the belated follow-up to the punchy, Attractions-driven Blood & Chocolate, Elvis Costello delivered an album as far-reaching as Swordfishtrombones, Hounds Of Love and his own Imperial Bedroom, except that by abandoning each palette as soon as he'd picked it up, Spike (1989) could only bewilder. It's a vast record, 64 minutes long, and in using 33 musicians, only two songs are played by the same line-up. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band are central, but then again so are Waits's guitarist Marc Ribot, Paul McCartney (who co-wrote the scintillating "Veronica") and the Irish contingent of fiddles and pipes. If "Let Him Dangle," his inspired defence of Derek Bentley (complete with the odd agonising rhyme), became the most famous track, it's only because the bizarre arrangements of "This Town," "God's Comic" and "Pads, Paws & Claws" proved too much. From rhythmic electric cacophonies to funereal New Orleans marches, from Byrdsy Rickenbacker pop to the streets of Arklow, Spike is far too ambitious to make perfect sense of, even four and a half years down the line.

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Q, unknown date, 1993

David Cavanagh reviews a re-release of Spike.

Q reports on the February 6, 1993 Van Morrison concert in Dublin with guest appearances by EC and others.


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Photo by Jill Furmanovsky.

Van Morrison, Dublin


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Once in a while Van The Ever Affable Man feels the irresistible urge to get together his fellow stellar musicians. The latest occurrence was in Dublin on February 13 at The Point when, during "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" Van appealed for help and within moments a remarkable just-passing-through backing vocal assemblage in Bono, Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, Nanci Griffith, Chrissie Hynde and Steve Winwood appeared. Furthermore, Bob Dylan contributed some of his celebrated mouth organ.

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