If you're an entertainer you know you've finally made it when an Edinburgh audience deigns to get to its feet as a mark of appreciation. Mind you despite playing a blistering career encompassing 3 hour set last night at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Elvis Costello only received that ultimate accolade half way through the final song of the encore. Fellow citizens, what are we like!!?
This was the 5th time I've seen Elvis and although I've never left one of his gigs disappointed yesterday's performance was jaw droppingly good. And what a laugh too. The basic premise of the 'Spectacular Spinning Songbook' is that there is a big wheel on stage with song titles, members of the audience are invited on stage to give it a spin and wherever it stops Elvis, Steve Nieve and the rest of the Imposters plays it. And there are bits that are not audience determined but a perusal of setlists of previous gigs - and he's been touring this Revolver show for almost 2 years - reveals that even these have never been the same in any two shows. A truly incredible talent.
Highlights? With 34 numbers from which to choose it's hard to know where to start but Greenshirt, Pump It Up, a troubador version of Almost Blue sung from the grand circle, a dubby Watching The Detectives, Shipbuilding, Tramp The Dirt Down, my all time favourite Elvis song Man Out of Time followed by the Rolling Stones' Out of Time, New Lace Sleeves, Jimmie Standing In The Rain, I Hope Your Happy Now, Radio Radio ...
After all of that there's only one question to be answered: what is so funny about peace, love and understanding?