During the past year, Elvis Costello has done solo and full band world tours, put out the autobiography Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink and companion CD retrospective, plus vinyl reissues of the early LPs. Another U.S. jaunt starts in late March.
Now comes Detour: Live at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, a stellar new home video release on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats via Eagle Rock Entertainment. Shot last June, the 105-minute concert film begins with a quick montage of images from around the famous UK music mecca.
Then the veteran British singer/songwriter grabs a guitar to launch his 26-song solo acoustic/electric set with a vibrant “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” as an oversized retro television set flashes assorted images from the old days.
Costello delivers a strong and passionate “Watch Your Step.” He provides humorous background to many songs, including “Accidents Will Happen,” an affecting “Shipbuilding” (done on piano), “Ghost Train” and a quiet “Down on the Bottom.” The latter – from 2014’s Bob Dylan/New Basement Tapes project - is among seven tracks where he’s joined by Larkin Poe, a female roots rock duo based in Georgia.
The gals add lap steel, acoustic guitar and supple harmonies to the countrypolitan-leaning “A Good Year for The Roses,” an extended hoedown take on “(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” and more.
Among the other standouts: a down ‘n’ dirty, electrified “Watching the Detectives,” where Costello wrestles feedback from his instrument, the passionate “Alison” and “Jimmie Standing In The Rain.” Fifteen minutes of bonus live material includes the dreamy “Love Field” and “Ascension Day,” in tribute to his late collaborator Allen Toussaint, off their 2006 collaboration “The River in Reverse.”
All told, Detour is a must for diehard Costello fans.