Costello remains at his impish and most playful best for Belfast date

News Letter: Andy Welch: 13th May 2016

Six decades in, his shows are still a sell-out success, and Elvis Costello says even now, they feel like a ‘playground’. He tells Andy Welch why keeping a loose framework and not forcing new material does the trick every time.

It’s been “an absolute age” since Elvis Costello played at the London Palladium. “I don’t keep track of these things really,” the London-born singer-songwriter adds. “I suppose the last time I was there was when I was in showbiz college, and Brucie and I were presenting Beat The Clock.”

He is, of course, joking, and showing his age (Bruce Forsyth presented a game segment called Beat The Clock on Sunday Night At The London Palladium back in the late Fifties and early Sixties, in case the reference was lost on you).

By the time this interview’s published, Costello - who is 61 - will have started his stint at the world-famous venue. When we meet, however, he wonders whether they’ve got some “ghastly” performance on before his one-man show (of sorts), Detour, kicks off.