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ELVIS COSTELLO IS ECLECTIC AND ELECTRIC AT NIA; ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS, Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Byline: LORNE JACKSON

HALFWAY through the Elvis Costello concert at the Royal Concert Hall a middle-aged man in spectacles sitting in the front row nonchalantly dumped his heels on the edge of the stage.

Then he started to sing along with the band.

Nothing wrong with this, perhaps. But rather outrageously he also accompanied the musicians by strumming on his own guitar. Elvis Costello might have been rather miffed by this untoward behaviour.

At least he would have been if the man in the front row hadn't been Costello himself. The aging punk/new wave/country/blues/jazz musician was both eclectic and electric during a bravura performance last Sunday.

As well as playing new hits such as 'Monkey To Man', he immersed himself in his impressive back catalogue, airing old classics such as 'Alison' and 'Watching The Detectives'.

But the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the singer's impromptu visit to the stalls, which proved to be an excellent bonding exercise with his rapturous audience.

Costello, the man in the spectacles making a spectacle of himself once again. But what a spectacle it was
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jun 5, 2005
Words:185
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