WITH his strong political beliefs and barbed sense of humour, Elvis Costello is perhaps not the most obvious artist to be found playing in the courtyard of one of the country's greatest stately homes.

But the New Wave and power pop star is the surprise third headliner to have been announced for this summer's Nocturne Live series at Blenheim Palace.

The London-born performer headlines the Saturday night slot on June 16, playing an open air show in the Great Court alongside folk-rock band The Waterboys and songwriter and producer Nick Lowe.

They join a bill already featuring Take That star Gary Barlow and disco legend Nile Rodgers & Chic. The final name, for Friday June 15, has yet to be announced.

Costello is an icon of British pub-rock, scoring hits in the 70s and 80s with such tunes as Oliver's Army, I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down, Good Year for the Roses and Radio, Radio. He also had a hit with a cover of Herbert Kretzmer and Charles Aznavour's song She from the soundtrack to the film Notting Hill.

Songwriter Lowe, who had a hit with the tune I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass, produced Costello's first five albums – including the successful My Aim Is True, This Year's Model and Armed Forces. This concert will signal the first time the two have shared a bill since 2013.

Mike Scott's Waterboys are best known for their hits Fisherman's Blues And a Bang on the Ear and The Whole of The Moon.

Costello said: "It's great to find ourselves in English summertime as part of the season of concerts alongside our old acquaintance, Nile Rodgers".

Ciro Romano, Nocturne Live Director: said: “Elvis Costello, Mike Scott and Nick Lowe are without doubt three of the UK’s finest songwriters. To have them all performing on the same night at this year’s Nocturne is a massive coup for us and they are a wonderful addition to the line-up.”

Tickets for Elvis Costello, The Waterboys and Nick Lowe start at £40 and go on sale at 9am on Friday. Tickets, along with a limited number of VIP packages - which provide an exclusive opportunity to dine in the State Rooms of Blenheim Palace, will be available from nocturnelive.com.