Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Paris Olympia, 29th May 2012

My Third Elvis Costello show ever and the third one at the Olympia in Paris after having enjoyed the great man onstage in 1986 and 1994.

Born Declan McManus, now aged 57, Elvis Costello has been one the most talented and diverse artists we have had since the end of the 70’s. I will not say I do not appreciate what he does in fields such a jazz, country or even classical music, but one has to admit that he is never as good as when he plays his typical punchy rock style as he did in his first records (or the ones he sometimes does in this style once in a while).

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Elvis Costello had been a man of many names as well and tonight he was our host, Napoleon Dynamite with his Imposters band, built out from two-thirds of the formerly Attractions (Steve Nieve on keyboards and Pete Thomas on drums) and of Davey Faragher on bass. And as a welcoming host, he had a spinning wheel on one side (indicating famous songs’ names or words such as “time” – he told us that if the wheel was to stop there, they would play all the songs ever written with the word “time” in it!) and a go-go dancing booth on the other one. The idea is simple but very pleasant : he chooses people in the audience, they have a nice little chat on stage, spin the wheel and enjoy the stage-bar or the dancing booth while the band plays. People from over the world were there but the most recognized fan was no-one else than Antoine de Caunes (of Chorus, Canal + and Rapido fame) dancing like hell on stage when the band was playing “I don’t want to go to Chelsea”.

So the “how” was great but what about the “it”? Well, I must say that Elvis was in great shape, playing with great enthusiasm an almost 3-hour set, ending with my favourite of his songs : “I Want You” from “Blood and Chocolate”. See you next time a bit earlier Declan! Please click on for full setlist.

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