Elvis Costello at Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, Western Australia, 8 October, 2009 – Review and Photos

October 10, 2009
By
Gig/Concert: Elvis Costello with Shelley Harland


Venue: Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, Western Australia
Date: 8 October, 2009

Headliners: Elvis Costello

In one word: Unplugged

With the docks, self storage units and sun setting in the background Shelley Harland takes to the stage of the Fremantle Arts Centre to a half-capacity and mildly enthusiastic audience.

Elvis Costello at Fremantle Arts Centre, 8 October 2009 - photo by Danny Crombie - Music Vice

Shelley Harland is a talented young girl with what will no doubt be a bright future ahead of her, she reminds me a bit of Lily Allen if she [Allen] had any class. The music is slow and soothing and would probably sound good in a Vodafone television commercial.

Harland’s song Another Broken Heart is definitely the standout of her set and the addition of harmonica is a nice touch.

Shortly after Elvis Costello takes to the stage and gets the crowd going, tonight it’s just him, his guitar and straw hat and albeit being in a crowd of 2000 it feels like an intimate affair.

His unplugged sound is a bit like Billy Bragg and his set is a mix of mostly new songs from his album Profane and Sugarcane released recently, he also plays a few classics in between and the track Alison gets the peaceful yet passionate crowd going.

The 20 or so people watching from behind the fence can be heard cheering, rustling through the trees and flashlights can be seen at times; they’re far less offensive to me than the two Irish guys talking throughout – why go to a concert if you’re going to yap the whole time?

Elvis’ yap is fine though and as he reminisces his dad’s advice; “One day your name might be in lights, you may even play Fremantle”, there is a loud roar from all around. He then proceeds to play a country song which he perfectly pronounces sawdust as sawrdust.

He plays another classic song Everyday I Write The Book shortly after which sends my in-laws into chorus. Costello is a real crowd pleaser and his sensible selection of songs old and new seems to keep Elvis as interested as the crowd, which I guess is the main thing when touring when you don’t fiscally need to.

With the crowd in near blackness Costello, keeps it all fresh with Sulphur to Sugarcane, Veronica and I’m Dead Now. By the end now everyone’s singing along with what they know and the rustling in the bushes has turned into a full chorus.

Costello is a guy who I reckon tours for pleasure more than anything else, he seems easy on the stage be it performing to 2,000 or 20,000, and has a playful and at times candid attitude towards the crowd. He’s a guy that seems to do as he wants and that’s allright with all of us.

© Danny Crombie

More photos of Shelley Harland and Elvis Costello at Fremantle Arts Centre, 8 October 2009

Shelley Harland at Fremantle Arts Centre, 8 October 2009 - photo by Danny Crombie - Music ViceShelley Harland at Fremantle Arts Centre, 8 October 2009 - photo by Danny Crombie - Music Vice


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