Elvis Costello defends decision to perform anti-Thatcher song live

Costello sang 'Tramp The Dirt Down' at Glastonbury last month

Elvis Costello played a star-studded "secret" show at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles last Wednesday, following his opening stint for The Police at the Hollywood Bowl earlier in the evening. His setlist included '(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?', 'I Hope You're Happy Now' and an encore rendition of 'Happy Birthday' dedicated to singer-songwriter Johnathan Rice, who had joined Costello onstage earlier that night.
Elvis Costello has defended his decision to revive his anti-Thatcher song 'Tramp The Dirt Down' in recent live shows.

The song, which was written in 1989, sees Costello look forward to celebrating the controversial politician's death and includes the lines: "When they finally put you in the ground/ I'll stand on the grave and tramp the dirt down."

As the Independent reports, footage of Costello performing the song was broadcast by the BBC as part of their Glastonbury coverage last month, prompting some criticism from supporters of the former Prime Minister – scroll down to the bottom of the page and click to see him singing the track at Worthy Farm.

However, Costello said: "The Thatcherite revolution is looked at historically as a great cleansing moment but it was not. A lot of things that belonged to us all communally were sold out from under us. They weren't sold to private interests in England that enriched the country, they were sold to people in other countries. And it's still the same bunch of slimes sitting there running it all."

He added: "I felt I wanted to revisit the song regardless of the offence it gives to people who deify her. We sing the song from our point of view and other people have another view. Nobody shot anybody because of it. I don't feel vindicated. I didn't personally kill her."

In May of this year, Costello revealed that he will release a new album titled 'Wise Up Ghost' on September 17. The LP was recorded with The Roots, and is the follow-up to Costello's 2010 effort 'National Anthem'.

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