‘Who saw me here when I was young and fab?,’ asks Martin Rossiter, who last played the Wedge as frontman of Britpop artisans Gene around 16 years ago.
It’s an enquiry that goes out to a venue half full – or, as Rossiter probably sees it, half empty.
Accompanied by a pianist, his songs of self-loathing and despair are made beautiful by his keening voice, a deadly weapon aimed straight at the heart.
‘This is a song about suicide and it’s one of the cheerier songs on the new album’ he chuckles, before launching into Darling Sorrow, which begins with him preparing to jump off a cliff.
Even the relatively uptempo I Must Be Jesus muses that Rossiter was ‘put on earth to suffer for no reason’.
The single Drop Anchor, which the singer wryly notes has had radio play, is breathtakingly sparse.
And Gene classics London, Can You Wait and the extraordinary Olympian lose none of their power in their stripped-back setting.
Not young then, but still fab.