As I boarded the 19 towards The Lexington to see David Thomas Broughton perform, I thought to myself, 'How nice to be going to a gig that I'm not reviewing'. I love writing reviews, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it's nice just to go to a live show as a relaxed person who feels free to miss bits, arrive late and get distracted. Yet I feel compelled to write down the thoughts that this gig left buzzing angrily around my mind.

I first came across David Thomas Broughton on Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service on 6 Music. The Anthony Hegarty vocal comparisons are undeniable; in fact, sometimes the likeness is a bit awkward. Regardless, his songs are vulnerable, strange and intimate, his talent blinding. The Yorkshire fleck in his voice and his ability to write gut-churning songs that incorporate words like 'piffle' make him an exciting listen and, I was hoping, an exciting watch. The word on the internet is that Broughton's live performances are something of a treat; intense, manic, unpredictable. I was poised for an artistic and emotional onslaught.

I won't talk about the support, except to say that they were both pretty nutty. Enjoyable and unusual, though, and they kept me transfixed for the duration - no mean feat for two warm-up acts whose sets lasted well over an hour. Broughton appeared on stage without anyone really noticing, and started recording his guitar loops. As he did so, he coughed, shook his head, breathed heavily, sighed, wiped the sweat from his brow. 'Oh God', he mumbled into the microphone. The audience tensed, collectively thinking, 'I really hope David Thomas Broughton isn't about to die on stage.' He kept coughing, huffing and puffing, and his coughs, huffs and puffs were recorded in the loop. We started looking uncomfortably at one another, wondering whether he was about to give up the ghost after the first song, or whether this was part of an elaborate performance theme.

Turns out he had a chest infection. So yeah, chest infections are rank, and it can't be easy performing an energetic set to a room full of people on a hot July evening if you have a fever. But his complaints were constant; wandering around the stage cradling his tea, looking up at the ceiling as if he believed that this would be his last ever song, shaking his head in disbelief at his own sickness. At points, he was able to come down into the crowd and do a bit of singing from there, pull a few Michael Jackson shapes, and attempt some supposedly ironic but nonetheless terribly pretentious interpretive dance. So I guess he can't have been feeling too awful. As for his performance style, there was plenty of quirkiness, but it was all far more self-conscious than I'd hoped it would be. There were too many moments where he appeared to have lost himself in the distance, only to 'come back down to Earth' and seem surprised to find himself playing to a room full of strangers. His manner was staged, rehearsed, forced and, most importantly, at odds with the consistently excellent music he was making.

His self-indulgence on stage was distracting, needless to say. It's difficult to enjoy watching someone who is making you feel guilty and uncomfortable about them even being there. He deflated an excited audience. When people have paid for, travelled to and are really looking forward to something, it's not OK to leave them feeling undervalued.

Or is it? He performed his songs - what else was he there to do? Make me feel special? Most would argue not. But, for me, the point of going to see a performer live is to feel more connected to them, not to feel an inconvenience to them.