Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello and The Attractions: Leas Cliff hall, Folkestone 

(3rd March or maybe May 1980)

Report by Jeremy Miles

Punks, skinheads, mods, rockers, even a smattering of aging hippies turned out for Elvis Costello's concert at Folkestone's Lea Cliff Hall on Monday. Even tiny tots and the odd pensioner were in evidence at what must surely have been the Shepway's rock event of the year.

Fears of trouble from people trying to get in with forged tickets proved unfounded as did fears of any trouble at all.Every one of the 1,200 strong audience crammed into the hall seemed to be having the time of their lives. For them Costello could do no wrong. In fact his performance ranged from absolutely superb to mediocre and mechanical.

It peaked on numbers like Watching The Detectives, which was stunningly good by anyone's standards and it was at times like this you realised just how good a band the Attractions can be. The inter-play between Elvis' guitar, Bruce Thomas' bass, Pete Thomas's drums and Steve Naive's marvellous keyboards took on a positively magical quality at times.

Reactions ranged from adulation to a pogoing frenzy during the hour-long set which culminated in three encores, I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down, Oliver's Army and Pump It Up. In fact the majority of fans were so engrossed in the music that most of them were oblivious to the fact the three fire engines pulled up at the hall during the concert.

Half of them did not notice the fully uniformed firemen pushing their way through the crowds. Fortunately it turned out to be a false alarm. Later a fire brigade spokeman said the automatic fire alarm had accidentally sounded and had probably been triggered by the stage lights.

© Jeremy Miles 2021