Thursday, June 02, 2005


Last week, Elvis Costello played hookey, watching the European Cup Final when he should have been playing a gig at the University of East Anglia. Eventually the match reached its conclusion after extra time, penalties, and other associated fannying about, and Costello wandered onto the stage and played a much foreshortened set. Not unsurprisingly, some fans were a little pissed off at having been kept waiting around until 11, only to get a scrappy miniset in return for their efforts. They suggested some sort of refund might be in order. Costello adopted the same attitude he had when Hank Kingsley wanted to have a word about the car he sold him:

"Those who've asked for their money back should stay at home reading their cookbooks over a nice cup of Horlicks, while listening to their K-Tel collection of punk rock classics."

On the other hand, Elv, don't you think that those who'd rather sit in front of the telly watching some men kick a bladder about instead of playing their songs have clearly lost any creative impulse they might have once had, and should perhaps be thinking in terms of seeking out a retirement cottage and joining a couple of luncheon clubs?

(Actually, why would someone who's dragged out to the UEA to hear you play music be ridiculed for actually wanting to hear you play rather than sit around waiting for you to do the job you're being paid for anyway?)


Anonymous said...

You really shouldn't take what the NME says as gospel. Elvis did not wait until after extra time and penalties - he came on stage just after 9:30 (not 11pm as you imply) and played for over 2 hours (so that much truncated at all).

I still think he should have just set a video, but it wasn't as bad as you make out.

Anonymous said...

Also, he's a liverpool fan and liverpool played one of their biggest games for 20 years. He chose wisely and put football above music. Any fans who are upset should perhaps consider how much it meant to Mr. Costello that Liverpool were playing in the CL final.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Well, if there was a two hour set and it started at 9.30, that's different - but why would anyone complain if they'd had a normal set at a normal time?

And if the match meant that much to Costello, then why would he have gone on stage at 9.30?

And if it really meant so much to him, he could have pulled the gig in its entirety; most people don't have the luxury of taking time off for a football match...

Having said which...

Matthew Best said...

The answer to your first question is that people like to complain about stuff. As you should know ;-)

The answer to your second question is that he arranged with the venue to watch the game, but they insisted that if it went to extra time and penalties, he would have to go onstage anyway.

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