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Elvis Costello and The Imposters

PUBLISHED: 14:12 26 May 2005 | UPDATED: 15:31 22 October 2010

RICHARD BALLS

UEA LCR, Norwich

> UEA LCR, Norwich

Elvis has never recognised musical divides or boundaries and his 30-year career has been all the richer for it.

But for all the twists and turns he has taken, he has never forsaken the pop road.

I saw him play a memorable gig at the UEA in 1984 and have since seen him grace the Royal Albert Hall, the London Palladium, the Olympia Theatre in Dublin and numerous other fine venues. That this unexpected show at the UEA failed to sell out is indicative of the complete disinterest many of his older fans have shown in his recent classical releases.

Those who did turn out were treated to a night of tense drama and celebration.

With his beloved Liverpool having fought back from 3-0 down to 3-3 and take the game into extra time, Costello dutifully took to the stage shortly after 9.30 as requested.

Amid some boos, he launched into the first track from his debut album Welcome to the Working Week and got a drink hurled over him for his troubles.

While some of the audience remained glued to television screens around the venue, Costello ploughed on, delving deep into his past to play such material as Less than Zero, I Don't Want to Go to Chelsea, A Good year for the Roses and Club Land.

When it got to penalties Costello was ominously in the middle of Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down and followed that with A Kinder Murder.

Fortunately, these titles proved inapt and after the crowd let him in on the secret that Liverpool had indeed conquered Europe he seamlessly went into You'll Never Walk Alone, accompanied by the entire crowd.

For the celebration? He opted for an electrifying rendition of Mystery Dance and another gem from his country album Almost Blue, Why Don't You Love Me Like You Used to Do?

Late arrivals were all forgotten.


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