WITH Bluesfest kicking off in two days, the who’s who of the music business are rolling into the Northern Rivers.
While artists like Grace Jones and Elvis Costello are touring other parts of the country, some acts are already making their way into Byron Bay.
Michael Franti heads in tomorrow for his benefit concert at The Great Northern, while others are already here. Luciano and Ernest Ranglin are here, ready for their slots on Thursday’s schedule.
Elvis Costello won’t touch down in Byron Bay until Sunday, though he spoke to The Northern Star a few weeks back from his home in New York.
Although he has gained a younger legion of fans, Costello said others needn’t fear he’d lost his skills on guitar.
“Of course people who want you to do rock and roll – and only do that – get kind of nervous when you do anything different, like you’re changing some kind of religion,” Costello said.
“But it’s just having a bit of fun with something quite different. It doesn’t impair my ability to play electric guitar or any kind of guitar.”
Jumping from one genre to another is something Costello has become renowned for throughout his 30-album career. But that’s not all he can lay claim to.
He has written articles on music for Vanity Fair and hosted a music interview-based television show, Spectacle, which aired in Australia on the ABC network.
His list of collaborations with musical greats ranges from Paul McCartney to Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong.
Last year he released National Ransom, where his mash of rock, country and folk was both panned and applauded by critics.
Costello admitted there was a time when he cared if his records sold enough copies, but it’s not something he strives for now. Instead he’s happy doing his own thing.
“I don’t care what the record company wants,” he said.
“They can ring me up and ask me for something and I’ll see if I’ve got it– but right now all I do is play. I’ve made a lot of records, I don’t especially want to make any more.”
Costello admits he doesn’t have any “hits”, but his set with The Imposters will be a good show nonetheless.
“We don’t have any hits so to speak, it’s not like we wrote Tie A Ribbon Around The Old Oak Tree, so really the songs they’re as strong as we play ’em,” he said.
Elvis Costello and The Imposters perform at Bluesfest on Mondayand Tuesday. Tickets for Tuesday are still available from www.bluesfest.com.au
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