THE embodiment of calmness only moments before he was due to perform, A Savage cut a relaxed figure by the downstairs bar.

Even prior to the set beginning, the eager punters could tell the impending performance would not be in a similar vein to the raucous shows for which his regular outfit Parquet Courts are revered.

Virtually performing his debut solo effort through in its entirety with a rejigged line-up that also served as the supporting band, Savage kicked off with a cover of The Fall (RIP Mark E Smith) before bouncing through album opener Buffalo Calf Road.

Die-hard Parquet Courts fans filled the venue from wall to wall; the already feverish atmosphere teetered on the combustible as though the crowd goaded Savage to break into a Parquet Courts number, which would have duly remedied the dreaded Sunday blues in the process but alas, wasn’t to be.

Continuing to churn through his recent country-infused album, it’s fairly evident that it owes more to his hometown Texan roots rather than lifting directly from the up-tempo streetwise snarl that he his usually ejects in his day job.

Lyrically, Savage is on the nose and is as witty as ever, yet reveals a softer side of his affections having supposedly fallen in love before actually recording the album.

Sandwiched between the mesmeric melancholy of Indian Style and ode to a rejuvenated romance Ladies From Houston was another tribute for yet another recent loss, delivering a cover of The Cranberries’ Linger which initially startled the unsuspecting audience but subsequently ensured there wasn’t a dry eye among them.

After revealing (to the delight of the crowd) that this was the first show of the upcoming European tour, the band burst into album namesake and finale Thawing Dawn – the perfect ploy to promote his album.

The queue to purchase his recent record started before Savage even put his guitar down.

Thomas Curtis-Horsfall