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Gig Review: Great . . . If you're a fan of Alvin and the Chipmunks

"YOU guys are out of order," laughs Mike Rosenberg. Mike – who also calls himself Passenger – is only half-joking. Yet, the fact that this scruffy singer-songwriter from Brighton manages to keep a smile on his face on a noisy Monday night in Vicar Street is astonishing.

Alas, sugared-up teens were always going to be a difficult lot to keep quiet. Some are here because of Ed Sheeran, Mike's buddy, with whom he toured earlier this year.



"I owe my whole career to Ed," he gushes. Well, maybe not his whole career – just a recent surge of interest in an artist who a) has already released five albums, and b) possesses a voice that is every bit as appealing as an Alvin and the Chipmunks record.

Mike (28) spends most of his time on stage telling stories and begging his audience for a little hush.

I believe they call it Hansard Syndrome; when a bearded guitar-slinger feels the need to introduce every number with a tale about a tale.

There's a yarn about how he once led a kid to believe that he wrote Simon & Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence. Which, incidentally, he slaughters tonight.

Like Damien Rice sucking helium, our new friend pitches throwaway lines about how we only miss the sun when it starts to snow (Let Her Go) and how he despises X Factor (I Hate).

With any other audience, this would fall flat on its face. But again, most of the crowd came for a party.

At one point, Mike ditches one of his own tunes out of frustration and opts for a Taylor Swift number instead.

"I knew you were trouble when you walked in," he sings. Everyone cheers. The irony is well and truly lost.