Joe & Friends.jpg

After a low key opening set by Joe Camilleri and friends George Butrumlis and (I'm guessing here, Joe didn't introduce the other guitarist) Tony Faehse that wasn't likely to divert attention from the headliner Elvis and the Imposters delivered a one-two-three-four salvo of I Hope You're Happy NowHeart of the CityMystery Dance and Radio Radio that was almost guaranteed to get things off to a rocking start and satisfy the not too many obscurities crowd. With the preliminaries (the Overture, according to the EC website, with terpsichorean styles of Ms. Kelly Kay Kelly) out of the way Costello (quite literally) changed hats, morphing into Napoleon Dynamite, ringmaster and entertainer extraordinaire.

And this, folks, is where the extra keep it interesting and fresh for the performer factor kicks in, because the interaction, which is going to vary from guest spinner to guest spinner, delivers the chance to vary the spiel and, quite possibly, add some new angles that can be incorporated into future shows.

It was, however, fairly obvious that the chosen ones tended to fit a fairly obvious demographic. The first couple up had a beanpolish be-hatted young dude, with the obligatory attractive girlfriend, and the majority of those who ended up in the spotlight tended to be young, female and easy on the eye. Hardly surprising, really. They're not likely to be looking for old grizzled blokes like Your Correspondent, who might do something tricky like ask for Shatterproof because he lives in the Little House of Concrete, which hopefully is and the bank manager who made it possible is in the audience.

You can loosen things up, but you're not going to want to be loosening things up that much.

In a miracle of alliteration, Beanpolish Be-hatted Dude’s spin produced the Beauty Or Beast Jackpot, which turned out to be All This Useless Beauty followed by Monkey To Man. Other possibilities could well have included anything from the All This Useless Beauty album (Distorted AngelAlmost Ideal Eyes?) if you wanted to head down that route, and if you wanted to widen the Beauty bit you could conceivably stretch it to, say Lipstick Vogue

As far as Beasts are concerned, King HorsePads Paws And ClawsLeave My Kitten Alone?

See what I’m getting at?

There were plenty of options again when the second spin brought up a second jackpot, the King's Ransom, which turned out to be Indoor Fireworks and I Lost You out of thirty-something possibilities, and the third spin went to Roses, which could have been A Good Year for the Roses, but we’d just been over into the country spectrum, so we got Song With Rose.

That, being a co-write with Roseanne Cash, delivered a complication when Cash came up next but we got Cry Cry Cry ahead of, say Complicated Shadows (which was, if I recall correctly, written for The Man In Black). 

The jackpots continued with Time resulting in a predictable Strict Time and Out Of Time and it wasn’t until Spin Six that we got something that didn’t leave a great deal of leeway with Less Than Zero being specified.

Asked for their choices the next couple up on stage named Pump It Up and Long Honeymoon, a strange enough combination to bring The Hammer Of Songs into play (successfully, as it turned out) and while I could have done without Alison again, I’m glad it turned up because something sparked Elvis around that point.


© Ian Hughes 2012