THE question ahead of Father John Misty’s gig was what version would fans be given; the morose chronicler of man’s misgivings from latest album Pure Comedy or the out-of-control lothario of past live performances.

Early indications were that it was the former, with the ex-Fleet Fox crooning his way through his critically acclaimed latest opus.

Gone, seemingly, were the characteristic stage meanderings and slinky dance moves, replaced with a more poised performance and backed with busy animations of mankind going to hell in a hand basket as gimps frolicked on pigs and monkeys tooted the saxophone.

And then the switch to his – on the surface at least – less introspective and more fun material of his earlier albums.

Initially, the earlier material felt a little lightweight in comparison but not for long – soon the country rock blues of Nothing Ever Good Happens and the 70s soul of When You Are Smiling gets the loverman sashaying.

FJM praises his band like every good frontman should and he’s right to; they give his tunes an added dimension with beefy, almost tribal, drumming, particularly on Ladies Man and a fantastic bridge of jazzy distoration ramping up the tension of Holy ****.

Old favourite Bored in the USA reminded us Father John was always capable melodic nihilism. The Father before us tonight was just the deep and dark, funny and flippant prophet he’s always been.

Just more so than ever.