What is soul? It's new. It's a cliche. It's the truth. It's a pose. It's old. It's a rigid tradition. It's a set pattern. It's whatever you feel, whoever you are.
What is soul music? It's reason and rhyme. It's illogical and beyond words. It's ugly, real and worldy. It's beautiful.
Elvis Costello is soul. Elvis Costello turns cliches inside out and into truth. Elvis is bitter, Elvis is in love.
Last night Elvis Costello whipped all these contradictions into shape. There was never too much doubt that he would, but on his last appearance here, just over a year ago, there was a feeling that we had already seen and heard all he had to offer.
In the interim two of his songs, "Pills and Soap" and "Shipbuilding" have established him as Britain's foremost lyricist, revealing a complex character both alienated and compassionate.
Live, and with his regular band, "The Attractions," augmented by horns and a chorus, he stands out as simply the strongest voice and sharpest, most honest mind around. Soul? This Elvis, the one true Elvis, has got it.