Mark Lanegan’s transition from a frequently uncomfortable and pinned performer of gothic blues to a confident singer of gothic electro blues informed by the guiding hand of prime-time New Order and the kosmische of Krautrock is now complete. His tar-stained baritone remains a thing of dependable wonder, and with it comes a newfound love of performing that is both palpable and infectious.
Tonight’s encouraging gender split suggests that this singer of the dark is the stuff of date nights, and with a healthy proportion of the audience actually dancing on this sultry night, Lanegan has half the battle won.
Crucially, he has joined that rarified space occupied by seasoned performers whose current material is what actually the drives the agenda. There’s no laurel-resting here, and with the bulk of the set made up of songs from the albums he’s released from Blues Funeral through to Gargoyle, Lanegan and his well- drilled band aim squarely for the hips without sacrificing any of his customary intensity.
Death’s Head Tattoo merges menace with movement, while Nocturne and Floor Of The Ocean encapsulate perfectly his current aesthetic. Bodies sway in time to the forceful and seductive delivery. Elsewhere, convincing covers of Joy Division Atmosphere and Love Will Tear Us Apart, display where he’s at.
This is Mark Lanegan’s imperial period and long may it last.