Elvis Costello Newcastle City Hall 1979

Elvis Costello Newcastle City Hall 1979
Support Acts: Richard Hell; John Cooper Clarke
Elvis Costello was back at the City Hall in early 1979 fronting a great triple bill, with Richard Hell and the Voidoids and John Cooper Clarke as support acts. I’d seen Richard Hell as support for the Clash at Newcastle Poly, and John Cooper Clarke popped up quite often as a support act in those days. Both acts were well worth watching, of course. Richard had been a member of Television and, briefly, the Heartbreakers, and was known at the time for his signature tune “Blank Generation” and for “inventing’ ripped, safety-pinned shirts. John Cooper Clarke was a revelation in those early punk days. His rapid, caustic humour delivered in that greater Mancunian drawl always went down well with the Geordie crowd. Songs (are they songs?) such as “I Don’t Wanna Be Nice”; “Psycle Sluts 1&2” and “(I Married a) Monster from Outer Space” stick in my mind even to this day. Elvis Costello had kept on turning out those classic hit singles in the year since his last City Hall performance. “Oliver’s Army”; “Accidents Will Happen” and “Radio Radio” were all new to the set this time around. The set was much longer with two extended encores. I’ve just played last song “part Girl” on Youtube to remind myself how great Elvis was in those days. I must also mention Elvis’ band The Attractions, who were a very important part of his sound. Local guy Bruce Thomas played with Paul Rodgers in the 60s, and I saw him several times in the very under-rated band Quiver. The other members were Steve Nieve on piano and Bruce Thomas (whoo I’d previously seen with Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers) on drums. Setlist: Goon Squad; Hand In Hand; Oliver’s Army; (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?; Green Shirt; The Beat; Accidents Will Happen; Lip Service; This Year’s Girl; Lipstick Vogue; Watching The Detectives; Big Boys; You Belong To Me – including a line from The Last Time; Pump It Up. Encore 1: (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea; Mystery Dance; Radio, Radio. Encore 2: No Dancing; Party Girl

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