Review + Photos: Father John Misty @ Rock City – Nottingham

The elegantly lanky silhouette of Father John Misty appears amidst the darkness, smoke and faint illuminations. Holding gaze with the crowd, his sleek suit and glittering microphone, suggest a layer of ambiguity that often clings to J. Tillman’s preacher persona. Slouching around stage Misty appears deeply lost in his lyrics, clutching to his acoustic guitar for opener ‘Every Man Needs a Companion’, his crooning vocals fittingly fill the silence which has fallen before him.

As the lights fade deeper Misty remains stagnant behind his mic stand. A red beam of light hits his back leaving a smoky silhouette in view as the simple strums of ‘Hollywood Fever Cemetery Sings’ shudders through the speakers. Flaunting his hands and arms his stage presence resembles that of a later performing Jarvis Cocker. A comparison which only grows  noticeably through ‘When You’re Smiling and Astride Me’ as his guitar is flung over his shoulder and Misty twists and turns with an eccentricity that emanates the Pulp icons stage demena.

Crashing to the floor and pouring over the floor, Misty’s at times sombre lyrics are contrasted against raw emotional outbreaks of vocals and actions that cut through the audience. Chaos is soon overcome by a calmness Misty effortlessly flicks between. Whilst his passionate outbursts excite the crowd before him, swooning vocals only entice.

The delicate lyrics of ‘Nancey From Now On’ wisp away the audience and although the rolling beat and subtlety to Misty’s vocals don’t necessarily  pack a  noise breaking punch, his entire set shows that the trembling acoustic sound tainted by weirdness has the potential to captivate larger audiences. Father John boasts confidence. In a room where his audience screams cheers and claps tirelessly, his showmanship peaks and he revels in the atmosphere before him. A deserving reaction, Misty’s lyrics aren’t quite as clear and attune to the recording of ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ however his sheer stage presence and ability to captivate an audience, makes his performance a remarkably memorable show. Glazed with weirdness ‘Milk and Honey’ certainly do flow for Father John Misty in Nottingham.


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Photos by Jacob Flannery |

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