And he's joined by Ian McNabb, but no McCartney...

ELVIS COSTELLO joined unsigned singer-songwriter STEVEN KENNEDY onstage last night (March 22) in LIVERPOOL at the launch party for the ‘MERSEY BOYS AND LIVERPOOL GIRLS’ compilation album.

Costello received rapturous applause from the sell-out 450-strong crowd at John Moores University as he took the stage for three songs, announcing: “We’re just gonna do songs we know!” The two performed The La’s’ ‘Timeless Melody’, The Beatles‘ ‘Yes It Is’, before which Costello commented: “We’re gonna do one by a local poet now,”

referring to Sir Paul McCartney‘s book signing event in the city the day before, and one of Kennedy’s own songs, ‘To Lose Control’.

Fans were also treated to a set by former Icicle Works frontman Ian McNabb, which included an epic medley, involving everything from ‘Love Is A Wonderful Colour’, to George Michael‘s ‘Faith’ and Aaron Carter‘s ‘Candy’. After asking whether McCartney was present,McNabb announced: “For anybody who came expecting to see Sir Paul – we’re sorry” before his own rendition of ‘Blackbird’.

McNabb was then joined by local outfit, Amsterdam, and plugging their album ‘Attitunes’, quipped: “I actually came up with the title. If that influences your purchase – fair enough.” They then performed McNabb’s ‘Evangeline’, ‘When It All Comes Down’ and, as a much requested encore, ‘Understanding Jane’.

The gig included individual sets by Speed, Steven Kennedy and Amsterdam, all of whom appear on the compilation which will be released by EMI on April 2.