Elvis Costello at Plymouth Pavilions

The Plymouth Herald: Emily Smith: 25th June 2015.

On arrival at the Pavilions last night it was fair to say myself and my friend were the youngest among the Elvis fans who were excited to see the huge star for themselves. But it didn't matter that we were 20 years younger than most – because Elvis put on a show worthy of a standing ovation.

Elvis, born Declan Patrick MacManus, was born into a musical family – his granddad part of a military band and his dad a singer himself. Elvis began his career in 1970 and has plenty of hits to his name – so many that he managed to fill a two-hour set.

Before he took to the stage fans were treated to a series of music videos on a huge TV screen centered in the middle of the stage. Although the stage looked great I can't help but think we didn't need to be overloaded with songs when we were about to see the man himself.

Once Elvis took to the stage the crowd hushed and he got straight on with his first song – Red Shoes. With a whole heap of guitars behind him he jumped into hit after hit. It's fair to stay that although Elvis may be past his best vocally his guitar playing was right up there with some of the greats. As he skipped around the instruments he held so dearly I was amazed at his skill and pace.

After playing guitar led tunes for a good half an hour he took to the piano and serenaded the crowd with Shipbuilding. It were these moments on the piano that the crowd were able to hear the lyrics more clearly and appreciate the voice of such a great.



Throughout the gig Elvis addressed the crowd, which in no means was sold out, and told stories that had us all giggling. In fact it was a rare moment in history as it was only Elvis's second time in the city, although it had been the place he played his second gig as a musician.

An hour in and Elvis nipped off stage to return with Larkin Poe – aka Rebecca Lovell and Megan Lovell - bringing with them youth and a mandolin and lapsteel guitar. It was when the girls joined Elvis on stage that the gig really stepped up a gear and the crowd were able to 'bop' in their chairs.

The first of two encores included Oliver's Army, Roses and Alison – some of the best songs of the night. But it wasn't over yet – Elvis quickly ran off stage before returning to play inside the huge TV screen on stage. He finished the set with Megan and Rebecca singing Peace, Love and Understanding.

The night ended with a standing ovation. All in all it was good gig – always an odd one when you have to sit down but it's fair to say Elvis hasn't lost his skills on the guitar just yet.