The ex-Smith proves his greatness on a spiky live album
Live Review: Patrick Wolf
The spikey-haired one-man cabaretrefuses to come quietly. The Junction, Cambridge, Tuesday, March 10
Leaning upon a lectern, Patrick delivers a ferocious ‘Tristan’, harder and tougher than ever before. He keeps up the same dark intensity for new song ‘Battle’, which conjures up all manner of early-’80s seedy New York performance art dives; the frail, ukulele-plucking youth in a tank top has been well and truly exorcised. Loosening his clip-in blond plait, and with a mini microphone strapped to his face, if Patrick’s channelling anyone tonight, it’s Madonna on her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour. He’s got the diva-esque moves too, writhing on his knees and lovingly playing with his locks. For an encore of ‘Bloodbeat’ and ‘Vulture’, there’s even a full costume change incorporating a face of pink glitter and winged cape. At times, he’s crawling, beast-like across the floor, venting enough raw emotion and passion to land him the lead in a West End musical. When Gareth Gates has finished doing Joseph, Andrew Lloyd Webber should give Patrick a call.
Though disco bangin’ new single ‘Hard Times’ should be the night’s high point, it’s Patrick’s heartfelt rant against the “fascist media” that wins out. Ticking off Heat, who’ve accused Patrick of being too fat to perform, he proudly rants about weight, sexuality and race oppression in one fell swoop, before yelling “Let’s get fat and let’s get happy!” Giving his belly an affectionate squeeze, he skips into a thrilling, no-laptop version of ‘Accident & Emergency’. The Wolf boy’s teeth are sharper than ever.
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