Reviewed By Joe Douglas
Friday 13th may be unlucky for some, but on the Friday just gone I had the good fortune of seeing Father John Misty electrify Manchester’s historic Albert Hall.
The evening’s festivities began with the funky noodling of the support act Khruangbin. With matching long dark hair and sweeping robes, the Texan three-piece brought a spaced, psychedelic vibe to proceedings as we waited for the main event.Before long, we were treated to the swaggering arrival of Josh Tillman (a.k.a Father John Misty) himself – passionately crooning through the shimmering, alt-country set opener “Everyman Needs a Companion”, dramatically slashing through the menacing “Hollywood Forever Cemetry Sings” and gyrating and thrusting through the delectable “When You’re Smiling and Astride Me”. Within three songs the entire F.J.M. philosophy had been summed up – part folksy balladeer, part brooding rocker, part sultry sex god.
The main set was split fairly evenly between F.J.M’s two albums, with particular highlights including the wonderful “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C For Two Virgins)” and fan favourite “I Love You, Honeybear”. Tillman cuts an entrancing figure as a live artist; lanky and limby with a fabulous beard, pristine suit and acerbic wit, like a hipster Jarvis Cocker. Against the imposing backdrop of the old hall’s gigantic organ, Tillman expertly manipulated the stage and the audience lapped it up (at one point, the crowd were heard mimicking the laughter track on the weary “Bored in the USA”).
And he wasn’t finished yet. For his encore, we were treated to the aching “I Went to the Store One Day” and the frenetic “the Ideal Husband”. Sandwiched in-between was one last delight: an extremely fun and surprisingly faithful cover of current Rihanna single “Kiss It Better”.
If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to see Father John Misty live, take it – you’re in for a treat.