In my limited experience of Brighton one thing I’ve learned is that Coalition, tonight’s venue, is one of those trendy sort of clubs where all the freshers go and blow half their student loans in a night getting wasted on £5 pints and vomiting everywhere with ‘the lads’. So it was a bit of a turn up to see that Richmond Fontaine, with all their alt country and Americana leanings, were going to play here.

Opening act Stiv Cantrelli got things going well though, despite suffering from being too close perhaps to the headline act. It’s to be expected when half your backing band is going to be playing next and you recorded your album with all of them, but he still performed amicably. A particular highlight was 'Mahogany Joan', a bit of an epic Americana ballad that’s well worth seeking out.

He also suffered badly from the venue. The club itself is not conducive to the more acoustically inclined act, and that was definitely highlighted by the Richmond Fontaine set.

While the acoustics were good and the sound crisp for Richmond Fontaine, the venue really didn’t help. Despite their best efforts, the club was half empty and they couldn’t engage with the crowd in the way that they would normally. Despite a few witty asides and anecdotes from Willy Vlautin and a stunning rendition of their new album The High Country followed by a few classics, it never got going the way it could have done.

That all being said, if you detract the negatives it really was a stunning gig. The band were as tight as you can get and their style of flickering, anecdotal songwriting that seems almost as if you’re changing between radio stations every few minutes (which is capitalised on in the album itself) translated perfectly to the live setting. Their very personal and stylised way of writing worked and worked well on the live setting that kept with their style of casual, half remembered ballads and lost antiheros worked beautifully, and the audience was forever lost in the world of Vlautin’s imaginary tragic Bildungsroman.