Talking In The Dark, November 1984

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Talking In The Dark



Elvis Costello

Ulster Hall, Belfast

M. Gilmore

In keeping with his promise to return to Belfast, Elvis did just that for the first date of his 1984 British and Irish tour. I thought the last gig was the best I'd ever seen, I was wrong — this was the best gig I've ever seen — until next time that is. Throughout the excellent 30-song set, Elvis and the Attractions were accompanied by Gary Barnacle on occasional sax. To be mentioned in dispatches: a great soul ballad version of "The Only Flame"... the best "Shabby Doll" live heard... a new song about "mindless spite" called "I Hope You're Happy Now"... "Home Truth"... a funky "I Wanna Be Loved"... and the inflation version of "Clubland" (Elvis sings 40 winks as 25%) ...first encore... "Alison" I love you... "Inch by Inch" with the aid of Gary Barnacle... and the surprising inclusion of "Gettin' Mighty Crowded." Second encore: began with the highlight of the show, solo electric versions of "End of the Rainbow" (A Richard Thompson song off I Want to See the Bright Lights) and a folksy "Peace in Our Time"... Those in America who saw Elvis' solo tour can count themselves very fortunate, "I only wish I was one of them"... this was followed by a great "Turnin' the Town Red"... and the ones everybody danced to, "Deportees Club"... and "Pump it Up"... Elvis left the stage after two hours. He said that it was the first night of the tour and it had been a good one. I couldn't agree more.

Elvis Costello

Hammersmith Palais, London

M. Lockyer

EC's London dates scattered among other venues in Britain here very strong, similar to the US tour in much of the content and, it seems, the delivery. I went to the final concert of the EC & A dates, at the London Dominion Theatre November third (Saturday). EC & A took the stage and launched straight into "Deportees Club." This set the pace for the rest of the evening, a no-frills delivery of the essential Elvis, with no room or time for playing around. An excellent "Pills and Soap" followed with the addition of a heavy backdrop from Fete Thomas, which gave the lyrics an added urgency. EC was in a pink jacket, black slacks and blue shoes, with the same blue-rim spectacles as on the OS tour. The jacket slowly grew damper as the evening progressed. EC announced early on in the chow "This is for real" staring into the audience and inviting them to get up. An aggressive "Worthless Thing" followed, underlining his previous remarks to the audience. With the almost manic delivery of "Rock n' Roll Star" close on its heels. The concert went from strength to strength. The jacket grew wetter and wetter. After "Detectives" and "Kid About It" Elvin dedicated "Invisible Man" to a "particularly talkative member of the audience" at the previous night's ahoy. Other highlights were a superb rendering of "Dark End of the Street." For a first encore EC reappeared solo, and produced skeletal but hypnotic versions on acoustic guitar of "End of the Rainbow," "High Fidelity," "I Threw it all Away," "Riot Act," "I'll Make it all up to You" and "Peace in our Time." During his final encore, at 11:30 PM, Elvis announced "We're not going home yet, there's still half an hour left" and launched into a marvellous "Midnight Hour." The end of the concert came with "Clowntime" at the end of which EC was on his knees, the audience on its feet, scarcely able to take in the passion and scope of the 2 and 3/4 hours, 40+ song concert we had just witnessed.

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Talking In The Dark, No. 10, Nov. 1984  (date is approximate.)

Include reports on concerts September 27, 1984, Ulster Hall, Belfast, and November 3, 1984, Dominion Theatre, London.

Also includes excerpts from the Steve Nieve interview in Keyboard magazine, July 1984, and the EC interview in RockBill, Sept. 1983.


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Pages 1 & 2.

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Pages 3 & 4.

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Pages 5 & 6.

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Pages 7 & 8.

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Pages 9 & 10.

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Pages 11 & 12.

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Pages 13 & 14.

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Pages 15 & 16.

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Pages 17 & 18.

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Pages 19 & 00.


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