What better way for the most underrated songwriter of his generation to showcase his talent than to leave you with nothing to focus on except the songs?
On a bare, dimly-lit stage, with only his guitar and the gifted Steve Nieve on piano, the 49-year-old held a near-full house captivated for two hours-plus.
Sure, the crowd was of a "certain" age. Tweed jackets as far as the eye could see and probably the odd box of Maltesers.
But when he has 26 years' worth of work to choose from, it's only to be expected.
Kicking off with "Accidents Will Happen," he worked his way through a breathtaking 32-song, three-encore show.
Anyone expecting a greatest hits package would have been disappointed only "Shipbuilding" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding" fitted that bill. But the depth of material he did play was astounding. He crooned his way through new album North, a Cole Porter-ish collection of songs detailing his falling out of and then back into love, clearly inspired by Diana Krall.
He also doffed his cap to his back catalogue with the likes of "Rocking Horse Road" from Brutal Youth and all the way back to "Shot With His Own Gun" from 1981's Trust. And he even had the audacity to sing four of his songs with no mic, yet had the back rows holding his every word.
He bordered on self-indulgent with some newer stuff but when you're this talented, why not?