Elvis Costello‘s plans for much of 2020 were halted due to the pandemic; along with his current tour going on pause in March, his musical adaptation of A Face in the Crowd that was set to open in New York this year was also postponed. But on Thursday night’s Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the host gave Costello the chance to read from one of the musical’s most searing tunes, a thinly veiled takedown of our current commander-in-chief.
“‘If you’re tired of the lies of politicians and of preachers, you can put your trust in me/Help me be your brother’s keeper/If you pay too many taxes and think salvation should be cheaper,'” Costello read. “‘Just say blood and hot sauce/When the bailiffs are at the door, and you want to venge your spleen/Vaseline my pompadour, I’m twice the man you should’ve been/And round the ammunition and the gasoline/Just say blood and hot sauce.'”
Later, Costello performed songs from his latest album Hey Clockface alongside “Party Girl” from 1979’s Armed Forces with the Late Show‘s musical director, Jon Batiste. Costello will be releasing the LP Friday, October 30th. While most of the songs were written in Helsinki and Paris before the Covid-19 lockdown, Costello included one track, “Newspaper Pane,” that was written and recorded in isolation.