Friday, June 16, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 369 - Elvis Costello - Live at the el Mocambo

Album – Live at the El Mocambo
Artist – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Key Players –Elvis Costello – guitar, vocals.  Steve Nieve – keyboards.  Bruce Thomas – bass.   Pete Thomas – drums.
Produced By – ?

Release Date – October 1993 (Recorded in March of 1978)

Overview – This is an early live album from Elvis Costello and the Attractions.  It was a live Radio Broadcast from CHUM-FM and the Canadian division of CBS Records released it as a promotional item.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) –  The tone is set quick for this rowdy set as “Mystery Dance” gets the whole place rocking.  The track has a 12 bar blues feel and Nieve is up front in the mix on this as well as “Waiting for the End of the World” all the while both of the Thomas’ keep things rock steady. “Welcome to the Working Week” is another ultra quick burst (all 1:19 of it) with frantic audience “woos” inserted in the middle.  The band slows it down, well so it seems on “Less than Zero”.  Nieve continues to really be the focus on the tracks as the band drops back and he runs through a quick organ solo before the builds back up.  Pete Thomas really shows his chops on the drums working it all with precision and ferocity.   “The Beat and “Lip Service” are rowdy and spirited tracks.  Bruce Thomas gets to show off on “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”.  The bass line is tight and the band all seems to latch on to the groove laid out.  Pete Thomas gets to rumble the kit as the band has an epic conclusion.  “Little Triggers” mellows it down some before we take off with one of the bands more popular songs “Radio Radio”.  You can FEEL the room explode as Nieve unleashes the keyboard intro.  It stands alone, it’s a terrific live version.  Pete Thomas again rumbles across the kit on “Lipstick Vogue” as Nieve holds this lengthy note and Bruce comes along.  Elvis sings at a rapid fire pace and the band seems up for the challenge.  The longest track of the evening came with “Watching the Detectives” and it has a little more noisy/rushed intro than the track falls in to.  This is one of the bands trademark tunes and it doesn’t really break the mold from the studio version. “Miracle Man” has Costello in a crunchy guitar mood and the band plays right along. Costello takes some time to introduce the band and after is introduced they do a short “solo” but its more a call out that they are there.  “You Belong to Me” feeds of the frenzy that then leads in to the closer “Pump it Up” which just has the fans going wild.  The album fades and you are left to wonder if there was an encore, but by the same token you can feel the heat of the room from that night, so it was a good thing!

Where are they now? – Elvis Costello continues to write and play live.  The members of the Attraction disbanded in 1986 (but reformed from 94-96).  Nieve continues to write and perform as well.  He, along with the band were inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.  Bruce Thomas continued to work after disbanding w/the Attractions, but by many reports his relationship with Costello is forever tainted.  Pete Thomas also keeps busy with many studio guest appearances.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting off? –  This is a pretty hard record to track down and I find Costello to be night and day live, this one he is REALLY on though.  I can see why it was heavily bootlegged at the time and now can be snatched by fans easier.

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