Star rating: *****

Location: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Last year Costello brought his orchestral and big band book to play with the RSNO in what proved a stunning concert. As part of the Brodsky Quartet's series of appearances in the city, he returned with a new book of arrangements of material spanning three decades, from regular set-opener Accidents Will Happen to new and, as yet, unrecorded songs. Those who came expecting The Juliet Letters (the song cycle he wrote with the Brodskys) were rewarded with six of those songs, but few of the other songs shared the same original release in what was a remarkable career overview.

Highlights were too many to mention, but the great Rocking Horse Road (from Brutal Youth) and perennial New Lace Sleeves (from Trust) stood out in the first half, and there was more than a nod to his new domestic happiness with tunes from North, a couple by wife Diane Krall and My Three Sons in an arrangement that introduced a Welsh hymn tune into a song that borrowed the title of a US TV series.

There was a strong political line running through the selection too. Pils and Soap had revised lyrics and a Janacek treatment, and a new version of Shipbuilding included a tango section, lest anyone had forgotten the South Atlantic adventure that inspired the song. That theme continued in the selections from upcoming album Secret, Profane and Sugarcane, with the Brodskys playing bluegrass in an arrangement by Paul Cassidy.

Most of this was missed by the ranting woman who interrupted proceedings early on, objecting to the classical instrumentation. Like the "Judas" hurled at Dylan (but not as succinct) it was evidence only of cloth ears (and over-refreshment).

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