It was almost a whole generation ago when Elvis Costello last came to Bradford. And the audience behaved as if they'd been waiting to see him back.
The encores almost lasted longer than the set, with Elvis yelled back on to stage three times and performing storming versions of "Green Shirt," "Watchin' the Detectives" and "Oliver's Army," a moving "Shipbuilding" which sent shivers down your spine and a funky "Clubland." He finally abandoned the microphone altogether.
Some of the audience were there in 1978 when he last played the city "I had 35 minutes of material then. On a good night it lasted 15," he said.
The old and new were interspersed throughout the set and included part of a body of songs telling the lives of three women. "I don't know who's going to sing it yet," he admitted. "A Good Year for the Roses," "Alison," "She — from the recent film Notting Hill — all the usual suspects were worked over, often with a quirky feel.
A brand new song "You Lie Sweetly," co-written with long-time collaborator Steve Nieve, was immediately followed by a stomping "I Don't Want to Go to Chelsea." Nieve and Costello worked seamlessly together on stage.
Almost 20 years ago, I was entranced when a classmate regaled us about the spitting during a Costello gig in slightly post-punk 1980 which I had (rather feebly) decided not to go to because I had an exam the next day. Were all of us a bit older and wiser now, but no less enthusiastic.