Elvis Costello St David's Hall, Cardiff

South Wales Argus: Kevin Ward: 26th June 2015

Now in his fortieth year as a recording artist, Elvis Costello continues to delight critics and span musical genres even if he rarely troubles the charts these days.

His latest tour sees him playing a two-hour, three-part set on a stage dominated by a giant 1950s-style television with classic songs interspersed with humorous reminiscences about his father, mother, grandfather and his early 70s career as a computer operator ('It was just me, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs in those days!').

The first part of the show is entirely solo, as Costello moves from acoustic to electric guitar and, briefly, piano.

The latter instrument is used for a spellbinding version of Shipbuilding, his Falklands War lament (complete with a new verse) that is as relevant today as when he first released it in 1983.

There is a whirlwind run through old favourites like (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes, Accidents Will Happen, Oliver's Army and Watching The Detectives (a loop-laden, feedback-driven wall of noise) interspersed with newer tunes like Jimmie Standing In The Rain and 45.

A microphone-free version of Alison ends the first part of the show before support act Larkin Poe (the roots band made up of Atlanta sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell) join him for workouts of, among others, Blame It On Cain, That's Not The Part Of Him You're Leaving, Pads Paws And Claws and Down On The Bottom.

The second encore sees Costello appear in the giant TV for a thrash through Pump It Up before the Larkin sisters join him again for a harmony-packed Good Year For The Roses.

The night ends with Costello urging fans to leave their seats for a romp through (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love And Understanding.

A great night with a national treasure in fine form.