IF YOU wanted to pick somewhere to play your first UK concert, then this booming living room is an inspired choice.

Vaughn is an Austin based songwriter; possibly familiar to those who listen to Bob Harris (‘that bald dude from the UK’ as Vaughn put it) or have branched out from Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams.

Fresh off the plane, Vaughn had the unviable task of following a knock-out performance from Derbyshire folk singer Lucy Ward. Just 21 and newly signed to Navigator Records, Ward has an expressive, powerful voice. She also has an outsize personality, like a latter-day Judy Henske, and a well honed ability to work an audience. Previewing material from her debut album (out in May), her combination of rambunctious traditionals and her own rather wistful originals had the audience singing and eating out of her hand.

Idgy (her sister couldn’t pronounce Audrey) is living proof that hard lives makes for interesting art. Once you understood her back story, care of the longest introductions in Christendom, her story songs were country gold. Never boring, Vaughn had a wonderfully dark sense of humour and an ear for killer lines. Her simple songs had a high body count; including a cat frozen to a doormat. She was disarmingly self effacing and happy to play all night. Her material is clearly hard won – with just one album from 2006 to show, but packed with compelling numbers like Dragging The River and the devastating St Francis Fire.

Despite stretching out over two and a half hours and past midnight, Vaughn somehow the audience howling like redbone coonhounds. Who else could do that? An memorable evening.