I entered the Deaf Institute to the strange sounds of Calpernia Addams, playing the autoharp. There is nothing conventional about Patrick Wolf and his support acts are no different. Calpernia, a transgender activist, told witty stories in-between songs and if she wasn’t a musician I’m sure she could be a fine stand up comedienne. I was sceptical of the stripped-down vocals and autoharp but by the last song I wanted more. I’ll be sure to track down any recordings online.

Patrick was late to the stage by 30 minutes and going by other reviews of the Wild Sound tour this isn’t an anomaly. It’s frustrating because unless you’re a long-time, big fan of Mr Wolf (I’m not) it starts the gig off on a negative and the artist has to win you back in my opinion. Wolf did this very early on by playing two songs on his own before welcoming on his drummer and bassist. I had seen Patrick play a few years back in the Scandinavian church in Liverpool. It was an unforgettable gig because the venue and gig seemed totally befitting. He must have played nearly ten different instruments that night.

Highlights from the Deaf Institute gig include 'The Bachelor', 'The Bluebell', 'To the Lighthouse; (Patrick is a huge Virginia Woolf fan) and a really dark bassy version of 'Tristan' that actually reminded me of Kanye West’s 'Black Skinheads', which I’m sure Patrick wouldn’t appreciate. Unfortunately renditions of 'Hard Times', 'Magic Position' or 'The City' were not to be, and it’s clear that Patrick Wolf is happy for those songs to fall away to a certain extent. He’s a very unusual artist. Over the years he’s walked away from major labels and has decided to become a more intimate artist. A man with his talent could take over the music industry if he was that inclined but in a culture where ubiquity is celebrated Wolf continues to reinvent himself and most importantly go his own way.

It’s frustrating when an artist you admire doesn’t play your favourite songs, but then I guess it’s all the more pleasing when you slowly realise why. It’s because he’s Patrick Wolf.


Photos by Marie Hazelwood
http://mariehazelwood.tumblr.com


















Related Links:

http://patrickwolf.org/
https://twitter.com/_PATRICK_WOLF
https://www.facebook.com/patrickwolf/


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