Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes deliver the goods, even without the hits
- Nicola Meighan
- 23 July 2010
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Fri 2 Jul
It’s only after two hours and three encores that you start to appreciate the scale and import of Elvis Costello’s body of work.
Despite an extended, Americana-nuanced set that embraced many of his best-loved songs – the dapper vitriol of ‘Oliver’s Army’, the pin-drop protest of ‘Shipbuilding’, the wavering, pared-back ‘Good Year For The Roses’ – what strikes is the number of other Costello favourites you’d have liked to hear.
Perhaps this is the inevitable response to a classic pop maverick whose career has spanned four decades – and whose aural personas have explored post-punk, pub rock, music hall, political folk, country, jazz and cabaret – but it’s quite revelatory nonetheless.
Flanked by sterling Nashville backing gang The Sugarcanes (think a bluegrass Bad Seeds), Costello delighted as a soulful raconteur: contemporary dispatches like the (unreleased) death-row blues of ‘Condemned Man’ and the woozy rock’n’roll of 2004’s ‘The Delivery Man’ thrived alongside the timeless ‘Red Shoes’ and ‘Alison’.
It’s just a shame he didn’t play ‘Watching the Detectives’. Oh, and ‘(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea’. Oh, and ‘Veronica’. Oh, and… you get the point.