We think that this concert broke me into double digits as far as Elvis Costello gigs go, and not a one of them has been like the other.
Monday night was different again. The band delivered the songs in a searing, swaggering fashion with Costello, at times, almost daring the audience to find time to applaud before launching into the next song. There was very little on stage chat, certainly during the first hour or so. Punctuated by a brief leaving of the stage around midway, the evening heralded around 30 songs. Several of these segued into each other, the songs morphing into something else for a while then returning to where they started. For example, we got a cover of Wild Honey wrapped around The Other Side of Summer. Polythene Pam put in an appearance too.
The whole thing was brilliantly balanced. It had album tracks, less heard hits, newer stuff, old classics, new arrangements -the whole shebang. Something for everyone. A highlight for me getting to hear stuff from the Wise Up Ghost album including Walk Us Uptown. It certainly sent me scuttling off to my album lists to scroll through and revisit tunes I was less familiar with.
The “encore” (which really was more like a second half, just without the 20-minute interval) felt a bit looser. It was like there was a bunch of songs they were going to do but order depended on how they felt. In fact I’m certain there was a song towards the end that Costello said he just felt like doing.
The show started at a little after 8pm and finished around 10.30pm (half an hour later than the venue announced before the show). I really do think he was having too good a time to cut it short.
So, ten shows on and I am still entertained. Here’s to number eleven!
This isn’t from Liverpool, it’s from London a few days earlier, but I do love this song.