It's been a year now, since Tellison released their acclaimed second album The Wages of Fear, and before they disappear on a European tour this week, DIY have given them the chance to play one of their biggest London shows to date, as they take to the stage in Highbury's The Garage.

Initial concerns that they may have bitten off more than they can chew are thankfully dispelled, as the steady trickle of people through the door eventually fills the place – although it never quite gets entirely packed. Given the stifling heat in the room, it's something of a blessing that there's some room to breathe.

Bursting onto the stage to the crushing intro of 'Horses', it's immediately clear that Tellison enjoy playing live. Admittedly, this particular song probably works better mid-set than it does as an opener, but the band play with gusto and the sound is crisp and powerful.

Their live show is better than ever, and the increased confidence of guitarist Peter Phillips to take lead on vocal duties gives regular front-man Stephen Davidson a breather – "I'm going let my pal Pete sing this one" – and with around a third of the set sung by him, it allows for a more varied dynamic on stage. While Davidson works himself into a breathless (and sweaty!) frenzy, Andrew Tickell's languid bass-playing is a marked contrast, and his serene and calm demeanour is an oddly joyful thing to behold.

Tellison may write songs about reading, constantly referencing classic literature, but despite that, they're a surprisingly unpretentious affair, and the same goes for their live show. Tellison don't do anything flashy on stage, rather letting the songs speak for themselves, but their performance is nonetheless exceptionally tight, and the glee on their faces when the audience sing every word back at them is clearly evident and impossible to feign. That their songs are built for just this purpose doesn't hurt, but you'll be hard pressed to find a band that are more fun to sing along and clap to.

A few new songs are given an airing, and prove that the upward curve The Wages of Fear took them on looks set to continue, with one seemingly about red wine impressing from the off, while upcoming single 'Freud Links The Teeth And The Heart' is as curiously pleasing as it is on the album (and Davidson still can't help but giggle when singing the line "I fancy off her pants" – Tellison are nothing if not self-aware).

However, it's probably a few of the older songs that get the biggest reactions, with the upbeat and lively 'Gallery' still impossible to resist, and the always rousing set closer 'Hanover Start Clapping' sending the audience home on a brilliantly buoyant note.

Tellison may not be the most explosive band. They may not even be the most innovative; but they do fill a particular niche in the musical landscape better than anybody else. "Indie" is a word that means different things to different people these days, but Tellison are a proper indie band, in the old fashioned sense, both in their background and their style of music. Intelligent and honest, uncomplicated and brilliant, Tellison love what they do, and are everything you could want from a band and more, and their live show reflects all that superbly in London tonight. Joyous.