Elvis Costello, Brighton Centre May 16
THE BELOVED Entertainer, Little Hands of Concrete, the Imposter, Napoleon Dynamite, call him what you like but breathe a sigh of relief because Declan Patrick McManus is once again performing on home shores.
Costello is one of our finest singer songwriters but is often undervalued and in recent years he’s enjoyed a less than harmonious relationship with the old country, seeming to prefer life in the U.S where he feels more appreciated.
Seven years ago, following an unsatisfying appearance at Glastonbury, he declared, “I don’t care if I ever play England again. That gig made up my mind I wouldn’t come back. I don’t get along with it. We lost touch. It’s 25 years since I lived there. I don’t dig it, they don’t dig me.”
Fortunately that hissy fit appears to have passed and this wonderful performer is back and reprising a semi-legendary live trick from the 80s.
In 1986 he toured with a gigantic vaudeville spinning wheel which was adorned with the names of Costello and Costello and the Attractions tunes. As you’d imagine, the wheel was spun and the duly bashed out the requisite musical gem it rested on (sometimes twice in a row).
The original wheel tour opened at the Beverly Theatre , Los Angeles with Tom Waits as a guest M.C. and visited New York, Paris, Stockholm, Rome, then three nights at the Royal Albert Hall before it slipped quietly into almost mythical status.
But now, following a succesful run in the States (natch) Costello will brings the Spectacular Spinning Songbook to the U.K. and rolls up in Brighton next Wednesday (May16).
He’ll be backed by the Imposters, who are the Attractions without bassist Bruce Thomas, who Costello has irrevocably fallen out with after years of bad blood.
If the wheel falls on them look out for a selection of hugely influential hits and much-loved fan favourites.
It’s fair to say Brighton will dig him and will be ecstatic that he got back in touch.