There really is nothing like a good acoustic set and an only-slightly-overpriced glass of red for a Sunday evening. A polite, tousled, nice young man with a guitar, Ben Howard could so easily fall into the denizens of Jack-Johnson or Damien Rice-esque dullness. But he doesn't.
We were treated to an hour-and-a-half set; track after track of mellowed-out loveliness with more than a bit of a Bon Iver tinge. It's the kind of music you could fall asleep to. In a good way.
We were a bit disappointed that the show was seated; also that we were told at the beginning that we weren't allowed to pop out for a cigarette during the support. You're not my Mum, Glee Club. But then again, maybe this is just what grown-up gigs are all about. Anyway, the support (in the shape of local Birmingham boy Chris Tye) turned out to be good, so we'll forgive them just this once.
The beautiful 'Cloud Nine' was a crowd favourite, along with slightly folksy toe-tapper 'The Wolves'. His cover of Jeff Barry's (Or Chaka Khan's if you prefer) 'Walkin' in the Sun' also went down a treat. But to be honest we could just sit and listen to his amazing voice singing a rendition of the telephone directory.
Oh, and playing his guitar like a drum. That was brilliant. He even managed to coax the audience out of their seats for the last couple of more upbeat songs; watching the dozens of awkward-first-daters getting caught off guard was priceless.