An oh so appropriate mist of rain begins to descend on Henham Park as Father John Misty’s set reaches its crescendo with ‘True Affection’. It’s handy, really – the perfect, cleansing antidote to the steamy, sultry preceding hour.
Pairing huge bursts of borderline orchestral bombast with whites-of-their-eyes lyrical intimacy, there’s an ever-present balancing act that Josh Tillman skips along like a seasoned tightrope walker. Throwing himself about the stage, dropping to his knees with every impassioned outburst and flailing his limbs about like a man possessed by the all-encompassing love that forms the heart of ‘I Love You, Honeybear’, he paints a picture of the ravaged lover in stunning watercolours, becoming a sure-fire icon in the process.
Ironically, he rejects that status, urging the audience not to pop to the on-site tattoo parlour to get those lyrics that “seem like a good idea” inked on their skin. Regaling his throng with the news that he’s looking to get a pizza slice with a top hat and monocle tattooed below his eye “for every pizza that I’ve ruthlessly murdered”, one perplexed, possibly bedazzled punter can be heard turning to their partner and stating, “oh, he’s joking… I think.” Complex and confounding though it may be, Father John Misty’s main stage slot is a star turn.