Record Mirror, August 20, 1977

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Record Mirror


Too much of a good thing

Jim Evans

Jim Evans reports from the Bilzen festival


Backstage — liggers bar, roadies a-plenty and caravans for dressing rooms. Who's this dude in the black-rimmed specs? Why, it's young Elvis Costello — the one they've all been raving about. Elvis: "No point in keeping 'em waiting, let's get on with it."

Front stage, a tall, barbed wire fence separates the kids from the vast Press enclosure which runs up to the stage. Such remoteness between genuine (paying) audience and performers could mean trouble. Read on.

So it's... Elvis Costello and his band, The Attractions. They kick off with "Don't Blame It On Me" and rapidly move into "I'm Angry," both well-built songs. But young Elvis is angry, he's not happy with the lighting — there isn't any — and he's not happy with the fence. "What is this? A fucking prison camp? What are all these journalists doing here? Let the people in."

With deadpan face he gears into "No Action" and "American Man." He's getting a reasonable response but "all you people sitting at the back, this is not fucking 1969, it's 1977, wake up:" They do, slightly and encouraged by the artistes start to work on the fence — sorta pushin' it. Into his two best numbers "Less Than Zero" and "Red Shoes," both excellent songs and arrangements built around the musicianship of this soon-to-be star. Not suggesting anything, or attempting to detract from Elvis' performance, they played Springsteen's "Born To Run" after his set and it had the same ring of urgency. Good set. The multi-national punters were starting to get into the mood.

Festival organiser: "This first night is an experiment. Punk is not big in Belgium. The state-controlled radio is not at all adventurous. Festivals are the only real chance the bands have of getting to the people."

Elvis to The Damned: "You really gotta go out and upset them." Them referring to the heavy meathead bouncers safely ensconced behind the barbed wire.

Tags: Jazz Bilzen  FestivalBilzenBelgiumThe AttractionsCrystal Palace BowlGarden Party XSantanaMy Aim Is TrueBlame It On CainI'm Not AngryNo ActionMiracle ManLess Than Zero(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red ShoesBruce SpringsteenThe Damned

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Record Mirror, August 20, 1977

Jim Evans reports on the Bilzen Festival, including Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Thursday, August 11, 1977, Bilzen, Belgium.

Record Mirror notes EC is added to the bill for the Crystal Palace Garden Party, Saturday, September 10, 1977, London, England.

My Aim Is True is No. 14 on the album chart (page 2).


1977-08-20 Record Mirror page 17.jpg 1977-08-20 Record Mirror page 02.jpg
Page scans.

Elvis for Palace

Record Mirror

Boy wonder Elvis Costello has been added to the Crystal Palace Garden Party on September 10.

Tickets for the gig, headed by Santana are available from Harlequin Records, Landon Theatre Bookings and Premier Box Office. They cost £4.80 in advance or £5.30 on the day. More acts are to be announced shortly.

1977-08-20 Record Mirror page 05 clipping 01.jpg

Chart page photo by Gus Stewart.
1977-08-20 Record Mirror photo 01 gs.jpg

Cover and page scans.
1977-08-20 Record Mirror cover.jpg 1977-08-20 Record Mirror page 03.jpg 1977-08-20 Record Mirror page 05.jpg


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