Elvis Costello and the Imposters turn back the clocks at the Newcastle City Hall.

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the release of Elvis Costello’s debut album My Aim Is True, and subsequently, the New Wave legend is out on the road in celebration of this landmark in his career. 

During this evening’s two hour musical marathon, Elvis Costello delivers a set that perfectly represents his vast songbook including many of his greatest hits as well reworkings of some of his classic cuts. 

Costello is joined onstage throughout by his five-piece band featuring Steve Nieve (piano/keys), Pete Thomas (drums), Davey Faragher (bass) and backing vocalists Kitten Kurio and Briana Lee. This incredibly talented band comes together seamlessly all night long.

Costello kicks off the show with his Allen Toussaint collaboration “Wonder Woman”, before commencing a walk down memory lane with “Mystery Dance” and “Clubland”, which in turn sets the tone for the night ahead.

The pace is slowed down somewhat with a beautiful airing of “Tears Before Bedtime” during which Kurio and Lee deliver some soulful vocal harmonies. 

A run of 70’s smash hits including the groove-heavy “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”, the frantic “Lipstick Vogue” and his reggae-tinged single “Watching The Detectives” certainly pleases the Newcastle faithful. The latter of which features some blistering and passionate fretwork from Costello.

Positioned by the piano and accompanied by Steve Nieve the pair delivers a spellbinding airing of “You Shouldn’t Look At Me That Way”. This track is enough to make those in attendance feel as though they are sat in an old-school New York jazz club rather than the Newcastle City Hall. This astounding composition originally featured on the soundtrack to the movie Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool.

After a brief interlude, Elvis Costello reappears onstage alongside Kurio and Lee whereby they deliver a harmonious version of “Alison”. Several stunning piano based numbers follow including “I Can’t Stand up” which features the piano playing of the man himself before Steve Nieve picks up the reigns for, “Talking In The Dark” and the classic “Accidents Will Happen”. Just like a fine wine Costello’s dynamic voice just keeps on getting better with age.

There seems to be some debate amongst Elvis Costello fans regarding the song “She”. Of course, the track featured on the soundtrack to the 90’s hit movie Notting Hill. It appears that whilst some fans love the song, others not so much. Subsequently, Costello tosses a coin each night to decide whether to include the song in the set or not. Tonight heads wins and a beautiful heartfelt delivery of the track follows thus pleasing many in the crowd.

As Elvis Costello hurtles towards the end of his career spanning set, he wheels out several back to back crowd-pleasing numbers including an emphatic rendition of “Oliver’s Army”, an epic performance of “Shipbuilding”, the thunderous “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” before bringing the night full circle with his timeless anthem “Pump It Up”. The whole room up on their feet whilst singing wholeheartedly word for word.

With a career spanning over forty years Elvis Costello continues to go from strength to strength and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Elvis Costello & The Imposters
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Event Date: 26-June-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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