Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Pretty self-explanatory
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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby sweetest punch » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:59 pm

Setlist from wiki: http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... astertapes

01. Watching The Detectives - EC (intro) then EC (vocal and guitar) & Steve Nieve
02. Shot With His Own Gun - EC on piano then EC & Steve Nieve
03. Almost Blue - EC (vocal and guitar) & Steve Nieve
04. Accidents Will Happen - EC (vocal) & Steve Nieve
05. Unwanted Number - EC & Steve Nieve
06. Jimmie Standing In The Rain - part only - EC
07. Under Lime - EC & Steve Nieve
08. I Still Have That Other Girl - EC & Steve Nieve
09. A Face In The Crowd - EC (vocal and piano)
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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:31 am

This was an amazing evening.

Elvis really enjoyed it, even to the degree of playing A Face in the Crowd after the show had finished recording. There were around 200 people there and even those without tickets were allowed in. John Wilson - the interviewer - said Elvis was going to (seriously) play a set outside for those who could not get in but in the end this was not put to the test.

The show was supposed to record from 6.30pm until 8pm but actually recorded from 6.40pm to 8.40pm. Even Elvis said "we were supposed to finish at 8" but he was clearly enjoying what, I think, would have been his first performance of sort since his recent illness.

Many of us will have heard some of the stories before although he did tell us a Bob Dylan story about U2 ripping off Pump It Up which turned out to be a joke.

Elvis looked in great shape and having Steve there was a welcome bonus.

Strangely enough, the least interesting part of the evening for me was the questions section - there were only about 6 questions and to me only one of them was interesting. The problem was Elvis' tendency to give long answers.

Still, all in all this was far better than I was expecting.
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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby Goon Squad » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:18 am

This really was a superb event that easily surpassed all my expectations, and made the 2 hour queue outside infinitely more than worth it ! It was a very close and personal setting and during the recording it was almost as if Elvis and Steve were chatting away to a group of friends at home.

The first and most important thing to say is that Elvis looked very "chipper", extremely relaxed, and certainly seemed back to his old self. He was as always very interesting to listen to with great stories and funny anecdotes, and even if we had heard some of them before there were still some new ones to take in.

I certainly wasn't expecting so much live music to be played, so getting 9 songs from Elvis and Steve was a real bonus. Totally unexpected but absolutely fantastic ! He really seemed to enjoy performing live again, and if as I suspect this was his first public performance since his "blip" he thrived on it and came through with flying colours. Yes, his voice was maybe a little bit scratchy at times but that seems to have become the norm.........................none of us are getting any younger, least of all Elvis! I believe he's got a gig back in Chicago this weekend so it'll be interesting to see how he gets on with a full set of songs, but I'm sure he'll be just fine.

You could hear a pin drop every time he was talking or singing, such was the interest and total respect from the audience, and you felt it could have gone on for hours and hours with nobody getting the least bit fed up with it !
The "questions section" didn't really work as was probably intended as things seemed to go off on a tangent, but it didn't detract from a spellbinding evening.

Unfortunately as with all good things it did have to come to an end just before 9.00, but not before Elvis had given us one last song outside of the recording to send us away with a contented smile. Many thanks to Steve who got me the ticket, I owe you one mate, and it was great to see so many of the usual gang there......VG,MOOT,Sulky,Sheep to name but a few !

All in all it was a brilliant night, a very special performance, and was definitely one to go straight into the "I was there" section of memorable Elvis events !
Last edited by Goon Squad on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:34 am

I think VG and Goon Squad summed it up perfectly. Stunning evening. Great to see everyone. And one of the good things for me was two of the people I thought of offering my spare ticket to also got in. Mark you're welcome mate
I know you would do the same for me when the time comes

the show almost compensated for the fact the other two Elvis shows I was due to see this year were cancelled.

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:46 pm

John Wilson
@JohnWilson14

Mastertapes soundcheck, @ElvisCostello & Steve Nieve doing Detectives, Accidents and - right now, oh man! - Almost Blue. The 2-part special show will be @BBCRadio4 Sat 13th Oct, National Album Day

https://twitter.com/JohnWilson14/status ... 0861637632

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:27 pm

The actual guitar that Elvis wrote Watching the Detectives on (although it’s had a few resprays.
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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby Cocktail Murderess » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:15 pm

It sounds like it was an evening to remember. Glad everyone enjoyed it! Thanks again to everyone who helped us in the search for tickets! :D
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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby verbal gymnastics » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:13 am

It's a real shame you didn't get there, particularly as you would have gotten in but it would have been a big, expensive risk to come down without knowing.
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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby Fishfinger king » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:02 am

Missed a trick not going on spec without a ticket - wish you hadn't told us verbal!!
Especially as I'd have combined it with a trip to the 4th day of the Oval Test and seen Cookie's last century.
Gutted to miss both in retrospect!


PS Is John Wilson any relation to Bob Wilson? They look very similar.


PPS Just realised our transatlantic friends won't understand any of this.
Is that so surprising nowadays?

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby Man out of Time » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:52 am

If I can add my thoughts on Monday's recording. There was a lot of queuing and messing about getting into the studio. You would not imagine that the Maida Vale audience team did this every week.

It was great that Steve was able to join Elvis for the recording. I spotted him getting out of the taxi that Elvis arrived in. Elvis remembered to let Steve get a word in. It was interesting to watch Steve for the couple of numbers where Elvis played piano (e.g. Face In The Crowd). It is stating the obvious, but if you want a piano played well, give the job to a professional.

Elvis is a mixed blessing for this sort of event. He has lots to say, but tends to take over, as if he is back hosting Spectacle or Letterman. He is very comfortable engaging with a studio audience, which made it difficult for John Wilson to keep him on track. That is one reason why the recording ran overtime. Elvis also likes to digress - as when he used a question about possible future collaborators to talk about his cancer treatment and criticise The Sun newspaper.

He gave a long introduction to "Under Lime", which included a solo performance (part sung and part spoken) of Jimmie Standing In The Rain. Essentially the gist was that "Under Lime" sees the cowboy music singer from "Jimmie" 20 or 30 years on, at the BBC Studios in Lime Grove for a variety show, where he meets a young woman whose job it is to get him onto the stage sober. There is more to it than that, of course, but that is the starting point.

One problem with this format for Elvis is that when he talks a lot, it is detrimental to his singing voice. Despite two cups of hot tea (provided by Chris "Toast" Holding) Elvis' voice on some of the songs was not 100%. As with Detour, if he talked less, he'd sound better singing (IMHO). On the upside, he played quite a few songs with just piano accompaniment, which also improves his voice as he's not hunched over a guitar.

He showed how "Shot With His Own Gun" sounded when he wrote it (on piano) and then how it sounded when Steve added his contribution.

There was a pretty good attempt on the programme to cover Elvis' whole career - impossible though that is in the time available, but it was interesting to hear him talk about MAIT and starting out in the business. I look forward to hearing the edited version when it broadcasts on 13 October (in two parts) on National Album Day (or some such). Expect the first part around 11:00 GMT and the second around 15:30.

Fishfinger king wrote:PS Is John Wilson any relation to Bob Wilson? They look very similar.


John Wilson is indeed Bob Wilson's eldest son. Bob Wilson - wikipedia.

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby sulky lad » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:35 am

I laughed at Fishfinger's comments about Bob Wilson ( and wished I'd seen Alistair's grand finale at the Oval too) but I'm gob smacked that he genuinely is John's father. I just hope he's a gooner too !! Perhaps that's why he mentioned that other famous DJ Gooner, pete Murray from the late 50s and 60s .

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby Neil. » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:40 pm

Can totes see the Bob Wilson resemblance! He went more arts than sports!

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby emotional_fascism076 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:04 am

Sounds like a great night. Looking forward to the broadcast.

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby Cocktail Murderess » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:56 pm

verbal gymnastics wrote:It's a real shame you didn't get there, particularly as you would have gotten in but it would have been a big, expensive risk to come down without knowing.


I know VG. But on the plus side, it's a couple of hundred quid saved, which has gone straight into my Elvis Account :wink: It should buy me a few extra tickets for the next tour! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:57 pm

Dave on Facebook has given permission to share this .


Mastertapes. BBC Maida Vale

The set-up was this; I had been sent my free ticket but there was no guarantee I would get in. The BBC always over-subscribe deliberately in case of possible punter absentees, and as they need to guarantee that a sizable audience will be in attendance, my ticket did not necessarily mean that I would see the show. The doors were due to open at 5.30 for a 6.30 start so it meant q-ing fairly early in order to ensure my involvement. Problem was, I didn’t actually know where Maida Vale was! The nearest tube station was Warwick Street which, as it turns out, is one stop from Paddington so that made it terribly convenient from a personal point of view. It's also close to a hitherto unpopulated part of London (by me at least) called “Little Venice", a canal area of tree-lined pathways, expensive houseboats and posh restaurants. It’s also a part of the capital city immortalised by Mr Costello in song (“the dennis the menace of little venice" – London’s Brilliant) though I was only made aware of this later by a fellow Declanologist. To be honest I spent way too long walking around this area having been sent in completely the wrong direction by an errant phone map that took me on foot all the way back to Paddington.


Consequently it took me a good 40 minutes to finally reach my destination and by the time I arrived I was tired, hungry & thirsty. I arrived at the studio, situated in a well-to-do, quiet, leafy Paddington street at about 3.15 and discovered that the massive throng of people that I expected turned out to be a selection of about 12. I instantly recognised Nick from the Costello Facebook group and we exchanged pleasantries. After a brief chat I chose to wander off to quench my thirst and get a bite to eat. By the time I had returned, the dozen or so that had got there first had swelled insignificantly to about 20. There then followed a 2-hour wait in which nothing really happened though I took the opportunity to talk to some fellow EC fans who, as is always the case, were friendly, intelligent and good company. We swapped stories. A guy called Paul & his wife were particularly chatty. I was intrigued to discover that the guy next to us had been at the Hastings Pier gig in 1980 when Costello forgot the words to “Alison” and was led off stage in what was apparently a drug induced haze whilst Paul witnessed the crush that had occurred in 1989 when Costello & Nick Lowe did a spot at the Tower Records store in London, resulting in a plate glass window being smashed. All part of the live Costello folklore.


Apart from keeping ourselves busy by comparing notes, the most exciting incident was the apparent arrival of Chris Difford though this proved to be something of a non-event as later inspection revealed that it wasn’t him at all. The crowd eventually gained size. We speculated over how many people could be squeezed into the studio and whether anyone would be turned away. My science fiction twin Paulina (so called as we share the same birthday) appeared, minus ticket. She had turned up with Claire on the off-chance of getting in. After what seemed like an eternity we were eventually ushered into the sanctuary of the studio. This resulted in more q-ing, though this time it took place in a dingy corridor full of what looked like tape boxes on one side and black & white photos of previous studio incumbents on the other. Paulina and Claire, the 2 ticketless hopefuls walked past me as I waited. We were later told that not only was EC keen to ensure that everyone gained entrance, so much so, that some people were allowed standing room only positions at the back of the studio, but at one point Elvis wanted to provide his flock with some busking entertainment as we patiently waited outside. Sadly this never happened.


My first impression as we were led into the art deco studio was how drab it looked though a casual glance upward revealed a fairly elaborate high ceiling decorated in squares and raised rectangular shapes. More waiting. I took the opportunity to check out the "reserved” seats in front of me, all of which contained the names of the people they were reserved for. Lynval Golding of the Specials +1. (He did not appear unless Lynval is now a white man in his 50's) Sam Amidon the British folk singer +1, who may have sat in front of me but I’m not sure what he looks like. Finally Barbara Charone, whom I did recognise, remembering her fondly as an American rock journalist from the 70's that freelanced for Sounds magazine. We got a brief introduction from the show’s bearded producer before Mein host John Wilson took center stage. He "warmed us up" by proceeding to tell us that Maida Vale was going to be closed down (all that history, once again, counting for bugger all, to be replaced by some modern equivalent). He also provided us with a faintly humorous story about Bing Crosby and then gave us the lowdown on the show's format. This included the occasional instruction to clap vigorously even when there was nothing to applaud. We reciprocated frequently like a bunch of performing seals throughout though when Elvis & Steve appeared from behind us we needed no invitation to respond enthusiastically.


EC looked radiantly healthy and has obviously gained some weight. He was also in great spirits, grinning on a regular basis especially in the general direction of his piano player who sat patiently throughout the broadcast as Elvis talked expansively. EC appeared to be quite keen to involve Steve in the conversation as often as possible but despite a couple of interjections he remained largely silent. Nieve discussed briefly the band auditions, and was also asked about the recording of “Blood & Chocolate”, a potentially juicy subject considering the bad vibes that were flying around at the time, but the only thing that Nieve would admit was “this young man" (referring to Elvis) was in an awkward mood during the recording sessions. The frequent exchanges between the two made me aware of the strong bond that exists between them, both musically and personally. They appear to be very close.


In the flurry of questions that were asked, and unsurprisingly most of these questions were answered at great length, did we learn anything? Depends on how big a fan you are. A lot of the stories have been regurgitated on numerous occasions. There was a vague chronology to it all, though I do not recall anything being talked about in any great detail beyond 1986 unless the subject matter involved the new album. Regarding “Look Now" Costello revealed that the band had had about 35 songs to choose from and that he’d sent a list of them to Pete Thomas with the instruction "pick the songs that you think would fit on “Dusty In Memphis”. Costello said "it was like a parlor game" which I believe was his way of suggesting that the new record is not being compared to Dusty's classic but at least it gives some idea of what Elvis was aiming for. I liked his explanation of how he wrote “Under Lime”. He said he had no real recollection of anything during the writing process apart from the song almost appearing by itself. There was no feeling of time passing or anything that may have existed outside of the muse taking hold for the period that was required for the song's completion. A gift, in other words, and even from Costello's viewpoint, an unexplainable one.


There were 9 live performances. Costello’s voice wasn’t at it's best and he struggled to hit the high notes on occasion, but Nieve was in exemplary form as always with Costello, at one point, asking him mid-song to “go where you go" which Steve duly did. We were given, "Watching The Detectives", “Shot With His Own Gun”, "Almost Blue", "Accidents Will Happen", "Unwanted Number", a snippet of "Jimmie Standing In The Rain" as a precursor to "Under Lime", "I Still Have That Other Girl", and finally, 45 minutes after the program was due to end, “A Face In The Crowd” with EC banging away at the piano. “Proof that Steve Nieve is a better piano player than you" said the host. “But” he added, "he's not as good a lyricist" . "Steve is a very good lyricist” Elvis curtly replied. Costello continually added to what was expected of him, so there were plenty of “just one more thing I’d like to add” and “another song I'd like to perform" moments.


After it was over, the "smoke and mirrors" of Radio Broadcasting (as Wilson called it) revealed themselves as it turned out the sound balance had been wrong in certain sections of the broadcast. Elvis was asked to re-play an opening piano part for “Shot With His Own Gun”, completely ballsing it up in the process and after they had left the stage, the audience were not allowed to leave until Wilson had re-recorded various parts of his narrative and yet more "spontaneous" applause was required in order to replace the bits that hadn’t worked first time around. All in all, a fascinating experience both from a cultural and a historic point of view. (Maida Vale is where EC recorded most of his John Peel sessions) and, as always, a pleasure to be in a "up close and personal" Costello moment.

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:03 am

Nice account - between us we’re getting the full picture :lol:

I wonder if the full show will be released at some stage :wink:
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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby WindUpWorld » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:39 am

John Wilson is indeed the son of Bob Wilson. I used to see John a bit as our kids went to the same nursery quite a few years back now.

Good to hear the reports and the EC seems to be thriving (not to mention conversation hogging) again.

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby FrankieJ » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:02 pm

Sorry to VG for not getting back to you - I was trying to remember my password so I could log onto the site on my phone and I couldn't get through - especially with the magic phrase that you had to wait to find out!

I re-arranged a very busy weekend in order to get back to London for this - but I must say it was worth it!

I was chosen to ask a question so I was given a front row seat right opposite Elvis. I spoke to a few people outside and wondered whether it was any of you - nearly asking about the forum but didn't want to look a tit if they replied "...What?" :oops:

I was really geared up to ask this question and, unfortunately, it looked like most question-askers got their turn....... except me! I don't know why! My question was about how he got to collaborating with Paul McCartney, but I did notice Elvis went off on a tangent a lot and mentioned his work with Paul in little snippets. Whether they decided to cut it out because of that, whether they forgot, or there was a mistake or deliberate decision, who knows! It was a bit deflating!

But at least the show itself was brilliant and more than expected. Thrilled Steve was there and being within touching distance was surreal. Like many on here, I got a ticket to the cancelled Southend show, and this made up for that. Roll on a Look Now UK tour!

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby Top balcony » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:38 pm

FrankieJ wrote:...Roll on a Look Now UK tour!


Was there any mention, hint, or even a wink from EC about the possibility of this?

Colin Top Balcony with fingers firmly crossed

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby FrankieJ » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:50 pm

Top balcony wrote:
FrankieJ wrote:...Roll on a Look Now UK tour!


Was there any mention, hint, or even a wink from EC about the possibility of this?

Colin Top Balcony with fingers firmly crossed


Not that I recall. Trust me, if he had said that I would be on here jumping up and down with excitement! It's just a wish.

Or maybe.... A HINT... to Elvis. Wink wink.

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby FAVEHOUR » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:19 pm

In addition to being on BBC player now, this can also be downloaded from iTunes podcasts.

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby sweetest punch » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:53 am

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Master tapes with Elvis Costello - 10th September 2018

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:17 am

FrankieJ wrote:
Top balcony wrote:
FrankieJ wrote:...Roll on a Look Now UK tour!


Was there any mention, hint, or even a wink from EC about the possibility of this?

Colin Top Balcony with fingers firmly crossed


Not that I recall. Trust me, if he had said that I would be on here jumping up and down with excitement! It's just a wish.

Or maybe.... A HINT... to Elvis. Wink wink.



I reckon they will tour next year


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