Elvis Costello performed at the The Sage Gateshead last night with support from Larkin Poe. Review and photos by Peter Fannen
Rebecca and Megan Lovell aka Larkin Poe only flew in from the US a few hours before taking to the stage and put on a wonderful performance in support of Elvis Costello. The girls have gorgeous harmonies in their rootsy rock numbers, particularly the melodic ‘Jessie’. Megan plays slide guitar with emotion, and there is a great exchange of singing and slide on ‘Jailbreak’ rounded off by the eerily fantastic ‘Bang Bang’.
Costello starts his set as he means to go on, with only a guitar – a wide variety of which stand in line in front of a huge retro TV set that shows his old music videos during the interval.
Costello is familiar with his Tyneside surroundings, with projected images of Gazza an apt accompaniment to lyrics like “I’ve got my faults”.
The evening is full of amusing stories of his life and family – his father looks his double during archive footage of him singing Pete Seeger’s ‘If I Had a Hammer’.
A mix of songs follow, preceded with “Bob Dylan wrote this and knows nothing about it” in reference to The New Basement Tapes. A nice rendition of the familiar ‘Oliver’s Army’ gets the audience going, before it’s over for a brief spell on the piano, the highlight of which is the beautiful ‘Shipbuilding’.
Larkin Poe join him for an encore with ‘Pads, Paws & Claws’ which moves the show up a gear.
A final encore sees him inside the TV set rocking out ‘Pump It Up’ with all hands clapping. For ‘Alison’, Costello comes to the front of the stage to sing without any amplification and the audience softly sings along almost hymn like.
Forget the young Elvis, this tour shows what a fine vocalist and guitarist he truly is.