Monday, November 26, 2007

'Mama, I saw a star last night'

It was Patrick Wolf appearing live (as opposed to appearing unalive, © Morrissey) at the Lowry in Salford Quays and it was completely unlike any of the previous five times I'd seen him. Filled with really different and often improvised versions of all his songs, the set couldn't have been more different to those during the 'The Magic Position' tours. I had become slightly alarmed at his ever-increasing band, the reliance on his laptop and gradual ditching of instruments in favour of parading about like some kind of karaoke pop star. He almost became Har Mar Superstar at one point and it was unsettling.

Now he's back playing completely alone and switching between all manner of instruments. Between songs he quietly wandered around the stage and switched to either his violin, ukulele, piano or guitar (shock horror) as if he'd unexpectedly discovered them lying there and decided to pick them up. It was Patrick Wolf in his purest form. Splendid and tremendous. I'll be seeing him again on Friday when he travels to the salubrious surrounds of Middlesbrough's Institute of Modern Art (mima). Patrick Wolf playing in Middlesbrough town centre isn't something I was expecting. It's a clash of civilisations that should prove seminal.

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