Badly Drawn Boy : London Brixton Academy

Badly Drawn Boy : London Brixton Academy's not all peace and love...

It’s very much a family affair tonight – Damon Gough’s mum, dad and girlfriend are here, and the backdrop flashes up cute pics of his two young children. He dedicates several songs to the nippers, and rails against Osama bin Laden and Cherie Blair – “those c***s” – for making the world a much scarier place for them to grow up in.

From anyone else such sentiments would be cloying, but there’s something undeniably sweet about Badly Drawn Boy‘s motives, particularly because his lapses into slushy sentimentality usually result in his strongest songs. Tonight ‘The Shining’ – which recalls the time he first met his lady – and ‘What Is It Now?’ – his reaction to the news he was to become a father again – are the undoubted highlights. On these songs, Gough expresses his adult experiences eloquently and with lovely tunes to boot.

But it’s not all peace and love. Damon rails against journalists who call his shows “shambolic”, ironically after he’s fluffed the intro to his biggest hit to date, ‘You Were Right’, and new song ‘Where Were You?’ castigates the people who have crawled out of the woodwork since he’s become the most famous wooly-hatted pop star on the planet.

Although it all sounds a bit Richard Ashcroft – talented northern fella with persecution complex has outlook radically altered by the changing of nappies – BDB has the wit and charm to pull it off. And as long as he keeps knocking out the bitter/sweet symphonies, he’ll still be daddy cool.

Alan Woodhouse