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Saturday, October 30, 2004

These Wolves are right behind you..



Abstractboy has been holding off blogging about one of his favourite musicians ever. I wanted to wait until I had seen Patrick Wolf live before I wrote about him, I don't feel qualified otherwise. Last night I caught Patrick at only his second London gig in a year at the Infinity Club in Mayfair.

I was introduced to Patrick Wolf by my lovely boyfriend in April. He gave me a CDR of Patrick's debut album, Lyncantrhopy just before I went back to Edinburgh for Easter. I missed my train and spent a day waiting in my room for the nightbus that evening. I put the CD on and was amazed by the album, genuinely astounded. Patrick mixed cocktails that I never knew possible, used instruments that wouldn't usually work together, compositions that worked miracles. He plays pretty much everything on the album himself - from viola, to vintage analog synths, to beautifuly plucked acoustic guitars, to even laptop blips and bleeps. The music itself is absolute genius - there is simply no other way to describe it. There is nothing I've ever heard quite like it and no way of even trying to imitate it.

Part of Patrick Wolf's uniqueness is due to his painfully honest and reflective lyrics and very distinct, beautiful voice. You get the feeling that Patrick has seen the darkest of human (and possibly lupine!) emotions. His lyrics are laced with hints and tales of his past, his times spent in squats in London and Paris. He is only 21 and yet this album has a maturity of someone who is truely travelled, yet the youth and freshness of however old he was when he wrote the songs. It has been the only album in recent years to make me cry, partially at the awe-inspiring beauty of it, and partially by thinking of how much he has been through and how much he has seen. It will always remind me of my boyfriend in some way too, but that is incidental, almost.

Seeing him live was a wonderful experience. His voice is so strong, but it isn't imposing. He ain't no Mariah Carey or nuffin. It is clean and pure and so filled with the emotion of every song. He means every word he sings, he knows everything that has happened to him. He is articulate, yet poetic, charming and somewhat mischievous looking. He speaks between each song and graciously accepts the rapturous response. To see him play viola and sing at the same time is quite amazing, but to see the ability with which he plays all of the instruments is just inexplicable. He is, without doubt, the most talented musician I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.

He has a new album due to come out in February 2005 by the name of The Wind in the Wires. He played a lot of material off it at the gig, explaining ideas behind the songs and expressing excitement about the writing process. The album will certainly not disappoint and will hopefully see him attracting a bigger fanbase. But until then I will be playing Lycanthropy to anyone who will listen. If you don't own it already, I urge you to buy it - trust Abstractboy on this - it will change the way you love music.

posted by Robbie de Santos at 10/30/2004 05:55:00 am

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