01 November, 2005
Sorrow by Name, Sorry by Nature...
OBF (Other Best Friend) and I went to see a gig last night at that ultra hip but pleasantly grotty venue, La Scala in Kings Cross. The artist was Patrick Wolf, who at the age of 21 has already released two CDs.
When we arrived it took us a while to establish exactly which one was Patrick Wolf, as it appeared that every second person cramming to get nearer the stage had a fringe cut in a Patrick Wolf stylee. Obviously his fans are quite intense.
As, it seems, is Patrick Wolf. At 21, his voice is deep and rich, yet shrill when he wants it to be. He plays the piano, violin and ukelele with equal skill and his presence is quite commanding - I have read reports about him being bullied at school, feeling an outcast, etc and he did nothing to dispel these stories during the gig. In fact, he thanked his audience in such a heart felt way on several occasions (simply for being there) that even I, quite the cynic, felt protective of him. During one interlude he even made reference to him being "the boy at the back of the classroom", his dreams and how he couldn't believe he was standing there now.
OBF and I particularly loved his drama. He moved on stage in an interpretative dancing stylee - much like my friends and I do when we've had too much to drink. His arms were waved around; he made grand, overblown gestures and even hid under his hood on several occasions. His audience lapped it up - one man shouted out "Patrick Wolf - the ANTI Will Young!", which was met with a roar of approval from the surrounds.
The name of his first album, "Lycanthropy", refers to the act of a man turning into a wolf. Wolf is clearly incredibly intelligent and well informed, certainly a little odd. His music seems to be influenced by many and varied sources - English folk, Joni Mitchell, electronica, PJ Harvey being just a few. He's been described by the British press as a 'British Bjork'.
Not every moment of the gig was amazing - I didn't connect with every song; but equally, there were moments of complete genius.
Patrick Wolf has already amassed quite a dedicated fan base - but I think his best work is definitely yet to come.