The English hate Elvis Costello, and the feeling is mutual:
Elvis Costello and Britain have abandoned each other. His songs have barely mentioned the old country since 2004’s “Needle Time” recalled “the time I started to tire of those sour English”.
Living abroad since 1989, unaccountably contemptuous of the once-adoring British music press, and furious at home crowds only wanting ancient hits, the connection with his public here snapped. His audiences are now mostly around his own age of 60, the replenishing, youthful fans who flock to inspect Dylan and other icons apparently ignorant of the most prodigious writer of fine songs in British history. Tonight shows it’s their loss.
This Brighton gig early in a 21-date solo UK tour continues Costello’s more frequent and friendly returns to British stages. There is great, mutual affection with his loyal old fans, the stubborn remnant of a different England to the one which docilely let the Tories back in. Costello himself is as kind and gentle as he’s ever been, even during his most acidic songs. There is enormous fondness in the room.
You know who else hated the old country? James Joyce, and you don't see him in a hat like that, do you?
Elvis Costello is a bell end and he should be banned from English music venues, but at least he isn't Sting. The Leonard Cohen schtick isn't working nor should it. And I'm still wondering where that post about Mark E. Smith went.
(You're missing all of the wonderful comments from the first time around on this piece--wiped out when I upgraded the old blog to DISQUS. This piece was a bit of fun, by the way, sorry if that wasn't apparent--homage, if you will, to the sorts of things written about Costello when he was throwing the N-word around...)