YOU’LL struggle to find a more unique and picturesque setting for an outdoor pop concert than Halifax’s Piece Hall.

Thanks to a £19million restoration which saw the Georgian Grade I listed building reopen last year, this former cloth hall provided the back drop for Father John Misty’s first headline gig in the UK this year.

It was the first big concert since the Hall, built in 1779, was revamped and more big live events are planned now the central courtyard has been levelled to create a new piazza with capacity for up to 7,500 people.

Father John Misty was top of an impressive bill that also featured local bands Hookworms and The Orielles, plus Edwyn Collins.

The day was tinged with sadness as Frightened Rabbit were also due to appear before the tragic death of member Scott Hutchison, who was found dead earlier this month after going missing.

Rather than replace the band, those already on the bill were given extended set-times and they all dedicated songs to the lead singer, who had been battling depression, while a minute’s applause was also held in tribute.

The Orielles kicked things off in their home town, producing a tight set bristling with the melodic pop which has seen them rise to prominence on the national stage despite their young years.

Hookworms, who also hail from Halifax and Leeds, then upped the tempo with their psychedelic noise-rock which got the crowd grooving.

Edwyn Collins brought some nostalgia to proceedings, with songs ‘Rip it up’ from his Orange Juice days and ‘Girl Like You’ the obvious stand-outs.

Despite suffering two serious strokes over a decade ago, his singing voice sounded as good as ever.

The main event arrived as the sun set on what had been a glorious day which showed off this fantastic venue at its best.

Father John Misty – aka Josh Tillman – raised the anticipation by coolly walking along the top level of the Hall with his band in tow.

He showed just why he is better front of house behind the microphone than at the back on the drums, where he used to be in his former role with the Fleet Foxes.

Though he kept his between-song banter to a minimum, Tillman can certainly hold his own as a lead singer.

Backed by a string and brass ensemble, he played a comprehensive set of luscious-sounding tunes, including favourites Bored in the USA and I Love You, Honeybear and also introducing some new ones from his fourth album God’s Favourite Customer.

It was a fine end to a fine day, with the only quibble being the long queues which developed early evening to purchase food.

Queues are to be expected at these events but over an hour’s wait to buy a burger felt excessive.

Hopefully this can be rectified at what is a superb venue for live music.