A comparatively quiet year for our finest songwriter after the vinyl blitz of 1986, when King Of America was followed within months by Blood & Chocolate. January found Costello at the Royal Albert Hall, playing three nights with The Attractions and their Spinning Songbook retrospective and three with The Confederates, a line-up that included some of the legendary American musicians who'd backed him on KOA, the highlight of which was the guest appearance of Van Morrison, a pairing that brought together two of rock's most determined iconoclasts for the first time.
Solo tours of America and the very far east, with Nick Lowe providing moral support and occasional accompaniment followed, but Costello's only other UK engagement this year was at the Glastonbury Festival, a performance of such epic proportions it seemed at one point that he was not going to leave the stage until he'd played every popular song ever written, including the whole of his own massive repertoire. David Stubbs aged visibly and was sporting a full beard before Elvis even introduced The Attractions, at which point our reviewer took out a mortgage on a neighbouring field and settled in for the duration in comfortable rural surroundings from which he has not yet returned.
Elsewhere, there was a cameo appearance in Alex Cox's spoof Western, Straight To Hell, a collaboration with Roy Orbison, a score for a new flick starring Cait O'Riordan and the end-of-year compilation, Out Of Our Idiot. Even when he appears to be not very active, Costello continues to keep himself busier than most of his sedentary contemporaries.