Possessing an almost demonic parlance, and pipe-cleaner limbs which thrust and flail throughout a breathtaking two-hour set, Nick Cave is far removed from your average rock star.
He spends much of the evening fidgeting at his piano stool, but anyone even remotely familiar with Cave's back catalogue - either his solo work or his previous incarnation fronting goth-punks the Birthday Party - would know that Cave would be far more suited to announcing the four horsemen of the apocalypse than launching into syrupy ballads.
On his current tour, Cave is appearing with a pared-down Bad Seeds line-up, featuring only bass, drums and violin, the latter courtesy of the equally gangly Warren Ellis.
Surprisingly, Cave and co more than make up for the lack of numbers, turning in a thrill-ingly raucous performance.
With a cigarette at his lips, Cave is on devastating form and enjoys banter with the audience, showcasing his sardonic humour.
Songs from his latest double album, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, sit comfortably alongside older material such as
God Is in the House and Red Right Hand, with Cave's wide-eyed delivery unifying the various strands of his career.
An intense, expressive rendition of The Mercy Seat, memo-rably covered by Johnny Cash, sees Cave reclaim the song for himself, and is the undoubted highlight of the evening, with the Australian songwriter hissing his way through the tale of a man on death row.
Such powerful music is rare to hear. A singular musician; focused, energetic and sharp (he appears clad in a smartly tailored suit), Cave exudes class, and few if any can match him at his peak.