Elvis Costello & Steve Nieve, Bournemouth International Centre

NOBODY does melancholy quite like Elvis Costello.

He is the master of suffering when it comes to love songs - and teaming up with Steve Nieve on piano and keyboards only helps to build the sentiment.

They came on stage at the start of their set intent on entertainment. There was no time for chat or sometimes even a breath - the songs came thick and fast.

Each was perfectly executed, Costello's voice was strong and true, and Nieve accompanied him on piano in an innovative and exciting way. He hammered the piano keys, reached inside to pluck the strings and even smashed down the lid at one stage - his performance was mesmerising.

They included many favourites: '45, New Amsterdam merged with a heartfelt rendition of the Beatles' Hide Your Love Away, Inch by Inch and a very dramatic performance of Watching the Detectives.

It was only as Costello came on stage for a third encore that he stopped to utter a few words - and only then to swear because the song failed to win an Oscar.