Tag Archives: elvis costello

Come to Elvis Costello’s launch party!

Elvis Costello’s new album ‘National Ransom’ is out next week.

On Thursday the 28th, he has a very special and very private launch party for the album at lunchtime in Soho. It’s going to be in the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s jazz club and these tickets are not for sale – it’s press and invite-only.

But you can win two tickets to this special event through a competition by entering on the Elvis Costello website here!

I’m going to be there live blogging and commenting on the event on Twitter, so if you win, do say hello!

Elvis recently joined Twitter, so if you are on there then why not go and follow him? And if you are a Twitter user then I’m hosting the Ealing Tweetup next week, featuring a live set by Elvis’s brother, Ronan MacManus…

Elvis Costello

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French government subsidises music

Why on earth is the French government subsidising music purchases?

They say it is to get people into the habit of purchasing music, rather than stealing it through online file sharing. Did any of the bureaucrats ever consider that French citizens might use up their free allowance and then return to file sharing?

The big issue with music is that we are moving from a world where the consumer paid for a physical recording (LP, CD…), to a digital download (MP3), to access only. That’s right – even the MP3 files on your iPod will seem archaic when the next generation of iPods allows you to choose an artist or song, which it then automatically streams.

Most new TVs are already Internet-enabled, you can flick through YouTube as you watch regular TV. Imagine once car stereos, home audio systems, and iPods are all geared up for constant Internet access? There is no need to ever own a physical music product – you just pay for a song as you play it or pay a monthly access fee allowing you all you want to play.

Spotify uses this model already. The one thing that prevents it becoming the norm is that playback devices are still not ready for streaming-only – most people using Spotify are still playing the songs on their computer. But it won’t be long. It’s common to see streaming jukeboxes in pubs now – a jukebox with every song ever recorded and released. And that is what we will all have at home soon, a sound system with access to every song ever recorded.

The future is how you purchase access to recorded music, not purchasing a copy of recorded music.

Charts will be based on plays, rather than sales, and artists will be (more than ever) focused on live performance, merchandise, and specialist products – like the 78rpm vinyl version of the new Elvis Costello album. Who can even play a 78 these days?

Music is entirely changing and for a government to waste tax-payers money on a scheme that encourages ‘legal’ digital downloads is outrageous.

Trocadero and Eiffel Tower

Elvis Costello is now on Twitter!

Forget about executives and celebs on Twitter. Now you can follow Elvis Costello!

He is regularly tweeting lyrics from his new ‘National Ransom’ album, which is released in a couple of weeks…

Elvis Costello 'Meltdown' with Richard Thompson

Biblecode Sundays in Ealing this weekend

London Irish super-group Biblecode Sundays are playing Ealing this weekend with a small gig on Saturday night at the Rose & Crown pub. It’s an unusual venue for a band that headlined the Shepherd’s Bush Empire shindig on St Patrick’s Day earlier this year, but one the band is looking forward to – and it’s free for punters visiting the pub.

The band is a true mix of the great and good, with music in their blood from birth. Lead singer Ronan MacManus is the son of Ross MacManus, who achieved fame with the Joe Loss orchestra. He is also the brother of Declan, better known as Elvis Costello. Andy Nolan on accordion played with Shane MacGowan and the Popes. Drummer Carlton Hunt is from ska outfit Bad Manners, and bass player, Enda Mulloy, is the son of Tom Mulloy of the legendary Mulloy brothers.

Their best-known song ‘Maybe it’s because I’m an Irish Londoner’ name-checks many of the areas around Ealing and the Uxbridge road, so it’s a return to home turf for the west London five-piece. That song soared up the charts back in March as St Patrick’s day revellers attempted to purchase enough copies online to get the Biblecodes to number one. They were defeated by Ellie Goulding fans, but still managed to make a dent on the national singles chart with a song about the Irish community in west London.

The Rose & Crown, Church Place, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, W5 4HN

Saturday 25th September, 2010
Band on stage at 8.30pm, curfew 11pm, bar closes at midnight.

Bible Code Sundays at Ealing

Elvis Costello at Meltdown

Elvis Costello played a solo gig last night as a guest of Richard Thompson (of Fairport Convention fame) who is curating this years Meltdown festival at the Southbank Centre in London. The gig was at the Royal Festival hall on father’s day and Elvis had brought his own dad along to the gig, though Ross is now in his 80s and not doing a lot of singing himself.

It was a stripped-down gig with a bare set, just guitars and amps littered the stage. There was no formal announcement at the start, Elvis just walked out and launched into ’45’ without even saying hello. He did get chatty after a couple of songs and enjoyed a fair bit of banter with the audience – the crowd was not shy in calling out requests.

Elvis did quite a bit of off-mic singing, which works nicely in a theatre like this. For one song he just dispensed with a mic for the entire song and sat on the edge of the stage – yet everyone could still hear.

Elvis Costello 'Meltdown'

These stripped down gigs can work really well and expose how great the song-writing is, or they can can unmask some shaky tunes that really need a bit of noise to work. Fortunately Elvis’s songs really shine in this form. When he did his classic cover of ‘Good year for the roses’ it felt so perfect I wanted to capture those few minutes, bottle them up, and publish them online immediately as a masterclass in music.

He played two guitar pieces simultaneously for ‘Watching the detectives’ by using sampled loops and closed the gig with a foot-stomping ‘(What’s so funny ’bout) peace love and understanding’ that had the audience on their feet cheering for more, taking in the melancholy of Shipbuilding along the way. Towards the end, Richard Thompson came on stage and provided lead electric guitar to Elvis’s rhythm for a few songs.

Elvis Costello really is a national treasure. He is one of our most significant artists in music of all genres and at Meltdown he once again demonstrated this with songs from right across his career.

He never showed up at his own after-show party, though I assume that’s because his dad was in the audience and family came first… until the next Elvis gig!

Elvis Costello Setlist