06.02.2016 07:31 AM

I have to get something off my chest about Elvis Costello

Me and the Hot Nasties saw Costello and The Attractions [emphasis added – ed.] for the first time on November 15, 1978 at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary. There was a minor riot at the foor of the stage involving the bouncers, us, and Costello. We refused to sit down and jumped into the orchestra pit to dance; the big hippie bouncers didn’t like that, and started to toss us around like matchsticks; Costello didn’t like that, and threw his mic stand at the nastiest, meanest bouncer. It was glorious.

Anyway. In those days, Costello was backed by Steve Nieve (ivories), Pete Thomas (skins) and Bruce Thomas (four strings).  They were gods.  Evidence, here:

Now, here’s Costello in his later years, without The Attractions [emphasis added – ed.]:

With The Brodsky Quartet? A classical ensemble? Seriously?

Like I say: I’ve been keeping this inside for too long. Elvis Costello TOTALLY SUCKS without The Attractions. He’s a boring old fart – the gravest crime for which you can be convicted, in my books.



  1. david says:

    I saw a great and very long show at Massey Hall a few years ago and he was great! He even played a song by The Rolling Stones…. Happy I did see him on that tour across Canada in 1978 and was totally blown away…

  2. Turn it down a little bit, or turn it down flat.

  3. Alan says:

    Warren, my mate CHIP TAYLOR (Wild Thing et al) is being inducted into the SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME in New York on the 9th of June. Guess who’s also being inducted alongside him and several other luminaries…why ELVIS COSTELLO of course !
    Rock on m’dear…

  4. Brian says:

    I agree. I saw him and the A’s way back when at O’Keefe Centre when they first arrived . What a ride! Now, I wouldn’t bother purchasing a ticket.

  5. Mike Adamson says:

    This Years Model is still an outstanding album.

  6. PJH says:

    That was 23 years ago!……Never a big fan of the man aside from the first album(Alison being one of my favourite tunes)…..
    Here’s a more recent incarnation…….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2apOfyUqZk
    Dunno if he still sucks….

  7. davie says:

    I watched an Italian movie about a man helping a kid. It ended with someone singing Weil-Anderson’s ‘Lost in the Stars,’ a favourite song of mine. I liked the version very much, searched around, and found it was sung by Costello.

  8. patrick says:

    Just goes to show you, gods of all ilk come and go. Guess we need to be careful what we put our faith in, or at least not make our faith absolute.
    Though they were great gods at the time.
    One band I didn’t get to see live.

  9. James Hanna says:

    One thing you have to admit though…like you, he married well….

  10. Jim Hanna says:

    One thing you have to admit though. ..like you, he married well..

  11. Innocent III says:

    I think that you need to give an artist the opportunity to explore. The early albums were terrific (Get Happy!!! is my personal favourite) but he made ‘King of America’ without the Attractions and his work with Allen Toussaint (‘The River in Reverse’) as well as the Roots (‘Wise Up Ghost’ – love the cover) is of the highest calibre. While it seems to me that your mind is made up on this, I assure you that Elvis is not a ‘boring old fart’. Who wants to do forever the things that s/he did in her twenties? That seems boring to me.

  12. godot10 says:

    Elvis Costello has ALWAYS demonstrated an interest in and appreciation of all styles of music.

    His hasn’t disowned punk.

    His first album with the Brodsky Quartet was in the mid-nineties(?) or so. It is not my cup of tea, but he gone back and done stuff more like his earlier stuff too. One doesn’t have to like everything a particular artist does. He has done stuff that bordered on country/Americana also.

  13. bluegreenblogger says:

    I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to go to a concert in 1978. What`s with these skinny ties? Why the black and white thing? Being a rock n’ roller, I literally bought and hid my one and only Costello Album so my rocker friends wouldn`t see it, lol. I still own that album, the rock collection disappeared long ago, along with most of the rocker friends.

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