Elvis still lives — and as a live act, he just gets better with every passing year.
Liverpool's Royal Court theatre was Elvis Costello's latest stop on a whirlwind European and American tour promoting The Delivery Man.
But there's so much more to a gig with Declan Patrick McManus than plugging a critically acclaimed LP.
Backed by The Imposters, featuring long-established pals Steve Nieve on keyboards and drummer Pete Thomas, Costello plucked some real gems from a back catalogue now numbering more than 300 songs.
"Uncomplicated," "Deep, Dark, Truthful Mirror" and a new take on "Everyday I Write The Book" were early highlights, while "Good Year For The Roses" still lingers with raw emotion more than two decades after he first recorded it.
A lifelong Liverpool fan, Costello cheekily dedicated "(I Don"t Want To Go To) Chelsea" to Steven Gerrard and followed up with blistering versions of "Mystery Dance," "Watching The Detectives," "Pump It Up," "High Fidelity" and, of course, "Oliver's Army."
He also had the audience spellbound with the moving anti-war song Shipbuilding, while the rocking "What"s So Funny "Bout Peace, Love and Understanding" still has tremendous power.
There was something to please all his fans in a sensational two and -a- half hour set.