Elvis Costello at the Colston Hall ... 9/10

The Post: 4th June, 2013

That creative, prolific – and energetic – performer Elvis Costello cannot stop touring.

Here he was, wearing a smart, three-piece suit, on stage at the Colston Hall.

Still, at times, playing the angry young man, and hiding his age under a by-now familiar natty hat, it is hard to believe Costello is 58 years old.

Accompanying him once more was the Spectacular Spinning Songbook, a massive fairground- inspired wheel packed with a plethora of songs from his 35-year career.

The brightly-lit wheel was helped along by Josephine, the singer's green-clad female assistant who is no mean dancer.

Spun after each number by members of the audience, Costello and his band, the talented Imposters, performed whichever song came up next.

The wheel's songs included a mix of pop, punk, country and rock'n'roll, plus a random jackpot of surprises.

It was certainly a novel way of keeping the fans on their toes, trying to guess what might be coming next from the music master's vast repertoire.

Those chosen to come on stage were invited to enter into the spirit of the evening with the band's energetic dancer.

Costello's two-and-a-half-hour, 25-song-plus performance in front of a packed and lively house did not disappoint.

The fans were overjoyed to see their favourite songsmith back in town, full of the political fire which gave us such beautifully-crafted songs as the mournful Shipbuilding and the anti-Thatcher snarl Tramp The Dirt Down.

To everyone's delight, Costello somehow managed to fit them both in.

The concert got off to a stomping start with the old Sam and Dave number, I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down, and The Rolling Stones' The Last Time.

Later, as the pace cooled, came a personal favourite, the George Jones' country-inspired composition A Good Year For The Roses, which was executed beautifully by Costello.

Two hours later – without any break – came the roof-raising finale. This had the whole place on its feet, clapping and dancing. It was an almost-continuous medley of hits – (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea, Accidents Will Happen, Pump It Up and Watching The Detectives. With a clutch of memorable back numbers, plus some surprises, by one of the country's greatest performers, it was an evening not to be missed, close up and personal.