Elvis Costello/Larkin Poe - Cardiff, St. David's Hall - 25th June 2015 Print E-mail
Written by Rob Watkins   
Monday, 13 July 2015 04:00


I've always wanted to see Elvis Costello within the live environment but never got round to it... so when the opportunity arose through a friend, shall we say, I grabbed it with open arms....


As we arrived support artist Larkin Poe were just concluding their business for the evening. I briefly caught final tune, 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)', the Cher classic performed by the multi instrumentalists better known as American sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, who, intriguingly, are named after their great, great, great, great grandfather Larkin Poe who was a distant cousin to Edgar Allen Poe... but more from them later.


As we excitedly await the main man, various music videos from Elvis Costello himself are played on the large retro type television that fills the back of the stage, obviously songs that won't be included in tonight's setlist. The rest of the stage set-up offer us a piano, a chair and lamp and, of course, various guitars, both acoustic and electric.


Before we know it, Elvis is in the building and on the St. David's Hall stage, arriving to such grand applause and quickly launching the set off with the acoustic '(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes', 'Watch Your Step' and the super duper 'Accidents Will Happen'.


There's plenty of banter with the gathered Elvis C aficionados with little anecdotes and tales concerning his life, his music and lyric scattered throughout the set and with the television showing images of numerous famous Welsh personalities as well as Elvis's family and so forth.




Songs tonight and throughout the tour offer up Attractions, The Imposters and a number of beautifully selected covers thrown in for good measure. which include 'Church Underground', '45' and, of course, the tune of tunes, 'Oliver's Army', a composition you can never tire of.


Mr. Costello sits down by the piano for a couple of tunes which includes the totally wonderous and perfect rendition of 'Shipbuilding'. That aforementioned chair and lamp come into play next as Elvis chills out sat playing songs such as the extremely touching and moving version of 'She', the Charles Aznavour timeless classic amongst other notable musical creations from the Costello back catologue and beyond like 'Watching The Detectives' and 'Alison'.


Larkin Poe return to the stage to assist Elvis on tracks like 'Pads, Paws and Claws', 'Kinder Murder' and 'Love Field'... And that vocal performance from Elvis... maybe I'm not the expert on Elvis Costello as a live performer but his vocal delivery and standard is awe inspiringly beautiful, absolutely perfect throughout and totally unique in style; there simply is nobody else out there or has been with the tone and vocal delivery of Mr. Costello.


'Pump It Up', 'A Good Year For The Roses' - the songs tonight are going on and on and on and myself personally I could sit here all night and all day listening to this man perform and Elvis seems so happy to be here doing what he does best.


The evening rounds off with '(What's So Funny Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding', again, accompanied by the sisters Lovell leaving to a well deserved standing ovation.


Perfection down the Diff... a truly moving musical moment in time from one of the greatest tunesmiths this fair planet of ours has produced.


Elvis has rocked the building.........


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