It is 21:07 and the crowd is buzzing. Four musicians walk onto the stage and head to their instruments – a keyboard, a guitar, a bass and the drums. I wonder, for a second, whether Mark Lanegan has arrived, then look to the far left of the stage and see his unmistakable silhouette make its way to the microphone stand. I ask myself how any man could walk so charismatically but before I have time to ponder any further, the show is on.
With no need for introductions, pleasantries or any other stage-shenanigans, ‘The Gravedigger’s Song’, from his latest album, Blues Funeral, blasted through the speakers. The crowd was ready and so was I. I’ve known of Lanegan for a long time – his debut with the Screaming Trees, his extensive solo work, as well as his time with Queens of the Stone Age, Isobel Campbell and Greg Dulli – but I have never seen him perform live.