Difference between revisions of "Bristol Post, April 30, 2009"

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The Bristol Evening Post
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{{:Bibliography index}}
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{{:Bristol Post index}}
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{{:UK & Ireland newspapers index}}
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{{Bibliography article header}}
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<center><h3> Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet </h3></center>
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<center>''' St George's Bristol </center>
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----
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<center> Steve Harnell </center>
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{{Bibliography text}}
  
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Few modern songwriters have had a career with the scope of Elvis Costello. Although he's still best known for the spiky punk of his early hits, he's explored — and most importantly succeeded in — a dizzying array of styles including country and classical music.
  
Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet: St George's Bristol
+
And it was the latter which was to the fore last night at St George's. Ever the unpredictable artist, Costello has returned to a collaboration he first forged in 1993 with classical four-piece The Brodsky Quartet. Their album, ''The Juliet Letters,'' may have only found its way into the homes of the most devoted of fans but it remains an intriguing oddity in his back catalogue.
  
Steve Harnell
+
But first, a red herring. As Costello took the stage the quartet glided into the unmistakable first few bars of "Accidents Will Happen." So were we to experience a retooling of his greatest hits for strings? Well, yes and no.
  
Thursday 30th April 2009
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In among liberal sprinklings of the aforementioned ''Juliet Letters'' was a rummage around the dustier parts of his back pages.
  
 +
The starkness of Costello's voice set against such minimal backing was at first startling, but his vocals have grown richer, warmer and stronger over the past 30 years and were more than up to the challenge at hand.
  
Few modern songwriters have had a career with the scope of Elvis Costello. Although he's still best known for the spiky punk of his early hits, he's explored - and most importantly succeeded in - a dizzying array of styles including country and classical music.
+
Jacqueline Thomas on cello gave the first selection from ''The Juliet Letters'' — "For Other Eyes" — palpable dramatic tension before the quartet adopted a percussive approach to <i>Brutal Youth</i>'s "Rocking Horse Road."
  
And it was the latter which was to the fore last night at St George's. Ever the unpredictable artist, Costello has returned to a collaboration he first forged in 1993 with classical four-piece The Brodsky Quartet. Their album, The Juliet Letters, may have only found its way into the homes of the most devoted of fans but it remains an intriguing oddity in his back catalogue.
+
Costello even slipped in a little refrain of The Troggs' "Wild Thing" to win a quick giggle from the audience. And either my ears were deceiving me, or there was mischief, too, in "I Almost Had a Weakness" where the quartet riffed away on the ''Looney Tunes'' cartoon theme song.
  
But first, a red herring. As Costello took the stage the quartet glided into the unmistakable first few bars of Accidents Will Happen. So were we to experience a retooling of his greatest hits for strings? Well, yes and no.
+
Costello drew on his vast experience throughout, regularly wandering off mic to give his vocals subtle depth of field. "You Turned To Me" was sung with a smooth croon and the Irish folk song, "Raglan Road," was beautifully delivered.
  
In among liberal sprinklings of the aforementioned Juliet Letters was a rummage around the dustier parts of his back pages.
+
For "All This Useless Beauty," Costello finally grabbed an acoustic guitar which had tantalisingly lain in wait at the back of the stage for the preceding 45 minutes.
  
The starkness of Costello's voice set against such minimal backing was at first startling, but his vocals have grown richer, warmer and stronger over the past 30 years and were more than up to the challenge at hand.
+
"Pills and Soap" was a mid-set highlight given new vibrancy with the taut string accompaniment. "Still," a hushed ballad from his album ''North'', was another treat, too.
  
Jacqueline Thomas on cello gave the first selection from The Juliet Letters - For Other Eyes - palpable dramatic tension before the quartet adopted a percussive approach to Brutal Youth's Rocking Horse Road.
+
A storming reimagined "Either Side of the Same Town" then led us into a powerful trio of anti-war songs. "I Thought I'd Write To Juliet" was Costello's own take on correspondence he'd received from a Gulf War soldier. It was given added weight, too, by the eerie way violinists Daniel Rowland and Ian Belton made their instrumentals wail like air raid sirens.
  
Costello even slipped in a little refrain of The Troggs' Wild Thing to win a quick giggle from the audience. And either my ears were deceiving me, or there was mischief, too, in I Almost Had a Weakness where the quartet riffed away on the Looney Tunes cartoon theme song.
+
Seamlessly, Costello then rushed headlong into "Bedlam" — an urgent rocker now recast as a sparring match between acoustic guitar and string section.
  
Costello drew on his vast experience throughout, regularly wandering off mic to give his vocals subtle depth of field. You Turned To Me was sung with a smooth croon and the Irish folk song, Raglan Road, was beautifully delivered.
+
And then came a song which still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, "Shipbuilding." Costello's emotive critique of the Falklands conflict is as good a protest song as you'll ever hear. You could hear a pin drop and it was the clear stand-out moment in the set.
  
For All This Useless Beauty, Costello finally grabbed an acoustic guitar which had tantalisingly lain in wait at the back of the stage for the preceding 45 minutes.
+
By encore time, he was wandering around the front of the stage unamplified, delivering a new song and having fun with the old 30s standard "PS I Love You."
  
Pills and Soap was a mid-set highlight given new vibrancy with the taut string accompaniment. Still, a hushed ballad from his album North, was another treat, too.
+
The hardcore Costello fans will have been in their element and even the most occasional admirer must have been won over by one of the most charismatic and mesmerising singer-songwriters of this, or any, generation.
  
A storming reimagined Either Side of the Same Town then led us into a powerful trio of anti-war songs. I Thought I'd Write To Juliet was Costello's own take on correspondence he'd received from a Gulf War soldier. It was given added weight, too, by the eerie way violinists Daniel Rowland and Ian Belton made their instrumentals wail like air raid sirens.
+
{{cx}}
  
Seamlessly, Costello then rushed headlong into Bedlam - an urgent rocker now recast as a sparring match between acoustic guitar and string section.
+
{{Bibliography notes header}}
  
And then came a song which still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, Shipbuilding. Costello's emotive critique of the Falklands conflict is as good a protest song as you'll ever hear. You could hear a pin drop and it was the clear stand-out moment in the set.
+
{{Bibliography notes}}
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'''Bristol Evening Post, April 30, 2009
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[[Steve Harnell]] reviews Elvis Costello & [[The Brodsky Quartet]], Wednesday, [[Concert 2009-04-29 Bristol|April 29, 2009]], St.{{nb}}George's, Bristol, England.
  
By encore time, he was wandering around the front of the stage unamplified, delivering a new song and having fun with the old 30s standard PS I Love You.
+
{{Bibliography no images}}
  
The hardcore Costello fans will have been in their element and even the most occasional admirer must have been won over by one of the most charismatic and mesmerising singer-songwriters of this, or any, generation.
+
{{Bibliography notes footer}}
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{{Bibliography footer}}
  
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==External links==
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*[http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/ BristolPost.co.uk]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Post Wikipedia: Bristol Post]
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*[http://www.elviscostellofans.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=7311&start=25#p125458 Elvis Costello Fan Forum]
  
[[Category:Bristol Post]]
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{{DEFAULTSORT:Bristol Post 2009-04-30}}
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[[Category:Bibliography]]
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[[Category:Bibliography 2009]]
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[[Category:Bristol Post| Bristol Post 2009-04-30]]
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[[Category:Newspaper articles]]
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[[Category:2009 concert reviews]]
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[[Category:2009 UK Tour|~Bristol Post 2009-04-30]]

Latest revision as of 19:51, 12 March 2020

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Bristol Post

UK & Ireland newspapers

-

Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet

St George's Bristol

Steve Harnell

Few modern songwriters have had a career with the scope of Elvis Costello. Although he's still best known for the spiky punk of his early hits, he's explored — and most importantly succeeded in — a dizzying array of styles including country and classical music.

And it was the latter which was to the fore last night at St George's. Ever the unpredictable artist, Costello has returned to a collaboration he first forged in 1993 with classical four-piece The Brodsky Quartet. Their album, The Juliet Letters, may have only found its way into the homes of the most devoted of fans but it remains an intriguing oddity in his back catalogue.

But first, a red herring. As Costello took the stage the quartet glided into the unmistakable first few bars of "Accidents Will Happen." So were we to experience a retooling of his greatest hits for strings? Well, yes and no.

In among liberal sprinklings of the aforementioned Juliet Letters was a rummage around the dustier parts of his back pages.

The starkness of Costello's voice set against such minimal backing was at first startling, but his vocals have grown richer, warmer and stronger over the past 30 years and were more than up to the challenge at hand.

Jacqueline Thomas on cello gave the first selection from The Juliet Letters — "For Other Eyes" — palpable dramatic tension before the quartet adopted a percussive approach to Brutal Youth's "Rocking Horse Road."

Costello even slipped in a little refrain of The Troggs' "Wild Thing" to win a quick giggle from the audience. And either my ears were deceiving me, or there was mischief, too, in "I Almost Had a Weakness" where the quartet riffed away on the Looney Tunes cartoon theme song.

Costello drew on his vast experience throughout, regularly wandering off mic to give his vocals subtle depth of field. "You Turned To Me" was sung with a smooth croon and the Irish folk song, "Raglan Road," was beautifully delivered.

For "All This Useless Beauty," Costello finally grabbed an acoustic guitar which had tantalisingly lain in wait at the back of the stage for the preceding 45 minutes.

"Pills and Soap" was a mid-set highlight given new vibrancy with the taut string accompaniment. "Still," a hushed ballad from his album North, was another treat, too.

A storming reimagined "Either Side of the Same Town" then led us into a powerful trio of anti-war songs. "I Thought I'd Write To Juliet" was Costello's own take on correspondence he'd received from a Gulf War soldier. It was given added weight, too, by the eerie way violinists Daniel Rowland and Ian Belton made their instrumentals wail like air raid sirens.

Seamlessly, Costello then rushed headlong into "Bedlam" — an urgent rocker now recast as a sparring match between acoustic guitar and string section.

And then came a song which still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, "Shipbuilding." Costello's emotive critique of the Falklands conflict is as good a protest song as you'll ever hear. You could hear a pin drop and it was the clear stand-out moment in the set.

By encore time, he was wandering around the front of the stage unamplified, delivering a new song and having fun with the old 30s standard "PS I Love You."

The hardcore Costello fans will have been in their element and even the most occasional admirer must have been won over by one of the most charismatic and mesmerising singer-songwriters of this, or any, generation.

-

Bristol Evening Post, April 30, 2009


Steve Harnell reviews Elvis Costello & The Brodsky Quartet, Wednesday, April 29, 2009, St. George's, Bristol, England.


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