It was then across to the Park Stage for Elvis Costello and the Imposters. With a full hour and fifteen minutes at his disposal, Costello managed to dig through his considerable back catalogue and play a variety of tracks, from the very well known to some rarities. Having only seen him in solo guise previously, it was great to finally see him backed by his band. Despite a few early mixing issues, Costello offered up one of my personal highlights of the festival, replete with funk, folk, and rock, and a mean whistling solo.
Certain songs garnered more of a reaction from the crowd than others, with well known tracks like "Alison," "Watching the Detectives," and "Pump It Up" getting the biggest cheers. Set highlights for me would have to be the aforementioned "Alison" (with added "Suspicious Minds"), a particularly rocking take of "Radio, Radio," and new track "A Slow Drag With Josephine" (featuring the aforementioned whistle solo).
The latter just featuring Costello on acoustic highlights his versatility as a performer, moving from bandleader to troubadour with a practiced ease. Though to be fair, it can't be that hard to lead a band of the Imposter's quality. They were top notch throughout, with some sublime keys and organ from Steve Nieve, some quality and solid drumming from Pete Thomas and some great backing vocals from bassist Davey Faragher. It was on this solid musical platform that Costello was able to add his trademark vocals and some great guitar work. With a varied but quality set, Costello proved why he is considered to be one of the world's top musicians.