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Review of concert from 2005-02-14: Edinburgh, Usher Hall - with the Imposters
The Scotsman, 2005-02-16
Barry Gordon

Elvis Costello



EVERYONE likes a bit of Elvis. The problem is deciding which era you like best. And that’s the trouble with an Elvis Costello concert: you never know what you’re going to get.

Recent forays into classical music and love-song crooning have tested even the most ardent supporter. Thankfully, long-winded violin solos and self-indulgent schmaltz were ditched in favour of music more commonly associated with the Mississippi Delta.

Soaked in Americana and varnished in blues, the majority of the set - a two-and-a-half hour journey through Costello’s back catalogue - focused on the 50-year-old’s 21st album, The Delivery Man, the story of an ostensible anti-hero.

Heart Shaped Bruise, a plaintive country ballad, and Button My Lip, about a desperate man on the verge of committing a terrible crime, were notable highlights. Still, it took gut-bursting versions of Chelsea and Pump It Up to spring the audience into life. Looking portly in seam-busting suit, stubbly Costello brought things to a crescendo with Oliver’s Army. But while he was seemingly enjoying it, you couldn’t help feeling Costello wished he was somewhere else.