Normally home to The Wizard Of Oz, a solo Adams apologised to any confused Dorothy fans, then proved over nearly two hours to be no Tin Man. Promoting Ashes & Fire, he switched between guitar and piano, the largely 30-something crowd reverentially quiet during his intimate country/folk songs. Opening with Oh My Sweet Carolina and the new title track, the mood was decidedly downbeat and contemplative.
He self-deprecatingly introduced Firecracker as the one uptempo number of the evening, and the bulk of the set was lovelorn ballads, such as If I Am A Stranger, Why Do They Leave? and When Will You Come Back Home. Even the fan favourite, New York, New York, was played with a slow piano arrangement. Please Do Not Let Me Go and the geographically fitting English Girls Approximately kept things sombre, and the one encore, a cover of Bob Mould’s Black Sheets Of Rain, ended the evening on a suitably representative note. Bruised but beautiful.