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Elvis's army is here to stay.. ELVIS COSTELLO BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY HALL Reviews.

THE last time Elvis Costello took the sensational spinning songbook on tour I ended up on stage dancing in the go-go cage.

I escaped that particular fate this time around although more than a few people were plucked from the audience to sit sipping vivid blue drinks at the stage's cocktail bar before joining a leather mini-skirt wearing Angel Of Perpetual Torment for some dance moves.

Costello was even briefly transformed into top hat loving host Napoleon Bonaparte with his silver-topped cane. He stepped into Simon Cowell territory although apologised for the fact that the evening would not feature a dancing dog. He said they had more than 150 songs to draw on and he tried his best to squeeze as many as possible in a three hour concert delight with hits like Oliver's Army and I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea sitting well alongside newer songs like My Three Sons. It was also good to hear Tramp The Dirt Down once more.

Costello unleashed his inner showman with the hammer of songs, the light-flashing songbook wheel, jokes and chat. He certainly made himself at home at Symphony Hall sitting in the stalls and walking into the audience for some memorable song moments. The beloved entertainer is back and in fine form.

MARION McMULLEN BIRDS OF A FEATHER: NEW ALEXANDER THEATRE BIRMINGHAM IT'S been more than 13 years since we last saw the trio of TV's Birds together but it feels like they have never been away.

Reuniting the original cast for a revival of the well-loved 90s sitcom could so easily have fallen flat. But cleverly scripted with fresh jokes on everything from David Cameron to The Only Way is Essex, it adds up to two hours of comforting humour.

Keeping true to the original flavour of the sitcom with Sharon's witty one-liners and Dorien's outrageous outfits, this feels like meeting up with an old friend. Until Saturday.

ALISON BRINKWORTH

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WORTH THE COST: Evergreen Elvis played a scintillating three hours.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 17, 2012
Words:334
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