Patrick Wolf discusses touring with Amy Winehouse

Singer rethinks retirement in midst of US tour

It’s been an eventful month for Patrick Wolf. In late April, he announced his early retirement from music at age 23, and retracted it a few days later.

Earlier this month he toured North America with British chanteuse Amy Winehouse and is about to headline dates in Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and San Francisco in support of his new album, ‘The Magic Position’, which was released Stateside May 1.

NME.COM caught up with Wolf on the eve of his first Los Angeles show in four years.

“The last time I was here, it was just me and my manager in a car without a visa,” recalled Wolf.

“It was really intense — sleeping in the car and driving from one city to the next. It’s very different now — I actually have a band with me this time. It’s like what I did four years ago times by about 100.”

Wolf said his show at the Los Angeles Troubadour fulfils a life-long dream of playing at the legendary venue.

“I’m an obsessive Joni Mitchell fan and I know she did lots of really important concerts at the Troubadour,” Wolf explained. “There are very few venues in the world that I really aspire to play in, but four years ago that was the one where I wanted to play, and now I’m doing it.”

Wolf admitted he’s been amazed by the response he’s received from American audiences, and has enjoyed playing to Winehouse‘s diverse group of fans.

“It’s really interesting to see what type of audiences (Winehouse) has,” he said.

“One night there were about 20 real hip-hop people, four soccer moms and some fashion kids in the audience. That’s what I like to see with music because it should be totally universal and not for one particular scene. So it was very exciting for me to sing to those people.”

Wolf said the enthusiasm of American audiences has taken him by surprise. “Sometimes you play shows in other countries and people are very cold… but if you come here and be yourself and communicate your music, the audiences respond. I feel at home here,” he added.

“People always say that New York crowds are very reserved and you’ve got to win them over, but it’s been just the opposite. It’s been almost like a fever,” Wolf said.

As for his recent retirement announcement, Wolf explained that it was fuelled by a combination of alcohol, exhaustion and emotion.

“With the retirement thing, I was a bit drunk and I went to the internet and I checked this message board and I thought it’d be really interesting to see what people thought of the shows,” Wolf explained.

“But it was like walking into the wrong conversation at the playground.”

Wolf admitted he was hurt by bloggers’ negative comments, and that his posting reflected what he was feeling at the moment.

“I said, ‘You know I’m a human being as well and I’m not going to act like I don’t feel anything’. So I wrote about how I was feeling. I just wanted people to know that I’m not going to be around forever so enjoy the shows while they’re there and enjoy the positive thing I’m trying to give them.”

Now in the thick of an extensive tour, retirement is the farthest thing from Wolf‘s mind.

“The US release of ‘The Magic Position’ is like a second wind for me,” he said. “It’s really exciting. There were kids outside a venue in New York dressed like me. I wouldn’t have expected that from America at all.”

–By our Los Angeles staff.

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