With the summer sun streaming through St George’s Church windows the famously temperamental Mark Kozelek admitted it was hard to find his mojo when he first walked on stage.
But as dusk fell he got noticeably more comfortable in an almost three-hour set drawing heavily from critics’ favourite Benji and latest album Universal Themes.
Common throughout was Kozelek’s dense lyricism supported by his three-piece band. Their largely gentle hypnotic shuffles on piano, six-string bass and brushed drums left space for his vocals to soar, occasionally beefed up by the addition of Kozelek’s guitar or the church organ.
Very few lyricists work in such a level of detail - throwing in thumbnail sketches of old friends, and references to dentistry, the right way to put up bathroom tiles and late-night pizza feasts.
Nostalgia and memory were recurring themes, with deeply personal songs about going home, missed relatives and his origins as a songwriter on I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same.
These were augmented with a cover of The Bad Seeds’ The Weeping Song dedicated to Nick Cave and his family.
And at the other end of the scale was his easy rapport with the audience – at one point encouraging a Frampton Comes Alive-style roar – and a riotous closing duet of Sonny And Cher’s I Got You Babe with Brighton musician Tim Samuel.