Elvis now is an interpretative singer. He may pump up the angry young man material for his encores and throw in a savage soul strut like "Temptation" to distract from the ravages of his readings of ballads like "Kid About It," but it's with the ballads and the melodramas like "New Lace Sleeves" that he's now most happy.
The rockers are perfunctory, the tragedies as essential as blood. Standing without a guitar in customary grey suit, Costello takes a song like "...And In Every Home" and plays with every note, until, like a Van Morrison, he has found all the life in the song and made it sweat.
Abandoning any real build-up, Costello at Brighton is amongst the loved ones and his confidence glows. He pulls songs out of the hat like a conjuror and each is greeted like a long lost friend. He may just have released 15 new songs and a single, but that doesn't stop him throwing in a brand new gem like "Every Day I Write A Book," surely single material.
Only the angry Elvis has withered and died. The new Elvis is the most perceptive and profound singer/songwriter in Britain, a man in his time. Heaven preserve us. Do we deserve him?