Patrick Wolf performs at Rough Trade East
"I always get scared playing in front of a home crowd" smirks Patrick swigging from his bottle. He's wearing a tudor neck piece, baggy white shirt and as always - won't stop playing with that incredible hair of his.
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Patrick's first violinist, close friend and bonafide sidekick Victoria Sutherland waits with pursed lips obediently. It's always nice to see Victoria at Patrick Wolf gigs. There's something very homely and calm about her, very professional and brimming with head chorister chic. There's a third guy stood behind them this evening. A blond man in glasses holding an electric accordian. I can't decide if he looks more like a thin Will Gregory or a Ghostbuster.
The half hour show is a promo performance for Sundark And Riverlight, Patrick's latest album, and is followed by a signing. The album is essentially an acoustic greatest hits album, but offers folky reimaginings from a few of the more overlooked corners of his repertoire while also showcasing a some new pieces. Gay Times received the full album in September, you can read my review here.
Despite telling us that he's scared of home turf Patrick seems to enjoy his half hour set and gives us another ten minutes despite a bony management finger prodding him from the makeshift wings. After singing a line in The City about the economic crisis and never being able to own a house he cheekily alters his lyrics on the spot to "Brick Lane don't look so sad". He flirts with his fans too, at one point pausing a song to mouth "More.... More.... I want More....." in dulcet orgasmic breaths.
If you don't own any Patrick Wolf albums then you really should invest. He's perfect at this time of year, especially those lazy afternoons when the countryside through the window becomes your own reflection by four. My friend John always listens to Patrick while in the bath. There's something quite eerie and magical about his music. It touches the heart and is great for those naked and honest moments. His story is a universal one but there's also something distinctly English (or perhaps Irish) about his songbook. He's also openly gay of course and his experiences of gay culture and same-sex love bleed into many of his songs.
I used to lament the death of Patrick's gay-pop high-heeled electro phase circa 2008. But I'm warming more now to the classical whisky-swigging Patrick, which I suppose is the original Patrick. Still, I'm holding out for some proper pop belters on his next studio album. If he can pick up where he left off with Together and The Falcons then we'll be in for a treat.
You can see a fan video of his Rough Trade East appearance below, but it doesn't really do his talent justice:
Watch the original track The City and it's official video HERE: