Richard Dawson is a stocky, stooped and rustic presence. On Sunday evening his stage outfit comprised a chequered cap, a dark cardigan over a black t-shirt, and a pair of baggy blue denim knee-length shorts. He would not look out of place at an allotment.

He was relaxed and affable with the audience, cracking corny jokes and spinning improbable and amusing yarns. This is in stark contrast to his songs which are bleak tales of regicide, moral turpitude and cruelty. Dawson does not so much sing as bellow and growl, scrunching his face into a tight red mask of fury or letting his mouth loll wide open like a drunk at the end of a three-day bender.

Usually he plays an acoustic guitar but he told us that the bass player stepped on it and broke it at the start of the tour so he has switched to what looked to me like a red Fender Jazzmaster. This change plus a trio of backing singers, a violinist (Angharad Davis), drummer (Matt Batey) and bass (Johnny Hedley) added sonic clout to his abrasive approach. At times the band verged on the funky.

The songs from his new album, Peasant, were well received, especially the moving and plangent 'Soldier'. The biggest cheer of the night went to the ten-minute long Dionysian epic 'The Vile Stuff'. Dawson is a genius and we should cherish him.

The gig was put on by Dictionary Pudding.