Sooper8, February 11, 2014

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  • 2014 February 11



Elvis Costello


Elvis Costello - 1983 to present day

I have been to see Elvis Costello probably 30 times over the last 30 years — sometimes two or three times on the same tour, with The Attractions, the Confederates, solo, the Imposters, and The Rude 5.

He is well worth the money and will entertain you for the evening.

Memorable nights are plenty so narrowing it down will be the harder job.

I saw him first at Leicester De Montfort Hall in 1983. It was the Punch the Clock tour with horns and backing singers. It was a surprise how loud and big his voice was and very powerful.

I saw him two nights running in Liverpool in the early 80's when he first did the Spinning Songbook idea. He played "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (ABBA), "Pop Life" (Prince) and "American Girl" (Tom Petty). He seemed to give it his best shot when playing in Liverpool too.

There aren't many people you could see so many times without getting tired but this is one of them.

Once went to Manchester to see him without tickets one very cold winter night. Got some tickets and then waited around at stage door at back. A rather refined English lady with blonde hair turned up and said she was on the guest list and could she come in... bouncer didn't like the look of her and asked her name "It's Cynthia" she said. No second name needed — but bouncer had no idea and sent her to front doors.

Elvis played "You've Got to Hide your Love Away" for her that evening, on what I believe to be Johns Gibson acoustic that she gifted him.

On the Manchester ticket you can see his signature. We went back stage afterwards and he did a Q&A session with fans. Can't recall specifics but when asked about being the Lennon to Macca in songwriting team he said "nice compliment but just draw a fuckin' target on my back why don't you?"

James Burton (Elvis Presleys guitarist) was on guitar for this gig and some other of Elvis' TCB band like Ron Tutt and Jerry Scheff and Glen D. Hardin on keyboard. They were incredible.

They played "True love Ways" by Buddy Holly and the similarity with "Poisoned Rose" was plain to see and I recalled Elvis Costello's Buddy Holly look in the early days, when he wore the big glasses and did the pigeon toe thing.

Elvis can play anything and make it sound good. He's the toppermost of the poppermost for me.

One of the last pics here is of a setlist. Can't quite recall which gig though. The numbers in brackets at the end of some songs are I presume for his drum machine/guitar pedal?

Played and written with everyone who is anyone.

Essential listening.

Tags: The AttractionsThe ConfederatesThe ImpostersThe Rude 5De Montfort HallClocking In Across The UK Tour Spectacular Spinning SongbookKnowing Me, Knowing YouPop LifePrinceAmerican GirlTom PettyYou've Got To Hide Your Love AwayJohn LennonPaul McCartneyJames BurtonElvis PresleyRon TuttJerry ScheffGlen D. HardinTrue Love WaysBuddy HollyPoisoned Rose


Sooper8, February 11, 2014

Sooper8 recalls a series of past Elvis Costello concerts.


1989-05-12, Manchester

1986-12-09, Liverpool

2005-05-29, Birmingham

1983-10-31, Leicester

1994-11-04, London

1987-01-30, Manchester

1991-07-05, London


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