This was a rare encounter with Fleet Foxes. Their last performance in the South East was a sold out Brighton Dome show in 2011. Before that they blew minds with their city debut in 2008. On Tuesday Fleet Foxes returned to Sussex once more to fill Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion with their earthen harmonies and indie-folk sophistication.

Fleet Foxes are not a prolific band. Since emerging in 2008 they have released three albums and one EP. A hit at home in the US, they were a sensation in Europe and the UK, with their first self-titled album going platinum and winning multiple awards. Later Josh Tillman left the band to become Father John Misty, another favorite in Brighton and Sussex, before the band released Grammy-nominated Helplessness Blues in 2011.

On their current world tour, Fleet Foxes are performing songs from their 2017 album Crack-Up, which is a little impenetrable, but retains many of the characteristics that made the band a success in the past.

Their luscious harmonies beautifully inhabited the ample hall of the pavilion, and generally the band demonstrated consummate musicality and orchestration. They started with some of their recent songs, including I Am All That I Need, the end of which hinted towards their classic, White Winter Hymnal, which they later played to rapturous applause.

Though the set was largely made up of new material, the band was able to medley some of their more famous songs, which had the effect of anchoring the audience in a set that might otherwise have been considered willfully abstruse. Of course past hits such as Mykonos and Your protector were allowed stand in their entirety, and helped to highlight the links between earlier material and the new and more challenging tracks.

Lead Singer, Robert Pecknold, played most of the encore alone onstage. He apologized in advance as he seemed to know that his voice was tiring and that the next few songs were going to be a real strain. His vocal did crack once or twice, but the audience really got behind him, and in the minds of everyone there this did not detract too much from an otherwise outstanding performance.

James Erskine