Thursday, October 05, 2006

Accident and Emergency

I love Patrick Wolf, I really do. I can't think of any other musician who speaks to me as much as he does. He released his first album, Lycanthropy in 2003. At the time he was 21, a lanky, precocious bleached blonde with some stories to tell. The first wave of electroclash was happening and he was very much part of it, often seen (or performing) at Nag Nag Nag or Kaspoint. When that whole scene imploded, Patrick disappeared from the streets of London and emerged a year later having spent time in Cornwall writing and recording his second album, Wind in the Wires, a thoroughly organic, romantic affair and a fair distance from his debut. The intelligent music press cottoned onto his amazingness and by the end of the year he had attracted quite the army of floppy-fringed dedicatees. A year on and he's gearing up to release his third album in four years. It's called The Magic Position and is due out in February next year.

He launched his metamorphasis at a two-part theatre gig in March this year, but is now on a proper UK tour to promote his upcoming single, Accident and Emergency. He played Koko last night (definitely my favourite mid-sized London venue) to a rapturous (and well-dressed) crowd. The set comprised mainly of new songs and very old songs, which doesn't always go down well with a crowd, but the strength of Mr Wolf's material, old, new and middle-aged, is so powerful and appealing that it would take a very determined person to deny it. It was great to hear the old material performed as on the Wind in the Wires tour there was an element of moving on from that phase of his life and the laptop-based performance. The gig showed a much happier and liberated Patrick Wolf as he bounded about on the stage dressed in sequens, glitter and flannel shorts with leopard-print dinosaur armoury, his dyed ginger hair adding to an overall similarity to Ziggy Stardust. The new songs were fantastic - especially the title track, The Magic Position, which he played just before the encore - the best pop dance song you'll here in years. It had the 1500 large crowd clapping and grinning along and featured the line "...to live to learn to love in the major key...", which pretty much sums up the mood of the concert.

While watching him I thought about the Ziggy Stardust comparison. He reminded me that the age of invention and utterly unique artists isn't over and that Patrick Wolf could very well become as global an idol as David Bowie came. There is no sign of his artistic progress slowing down, he only gets stronger and more popular. I can't imagine him ever giving up on music or releasing a duff record. His music is unique enough to outlive any trend with which he was associated. I'm very excited about this new album. Accident and Emergency is out in the UK on 23rd October.

posted by Robbie de Santos at 10/05/2006 05:57:00 pm


Anonymous ssp said...

And I thought I was the only one liking Patrick Wolf.

Can't wait to hear the new stuff...

Anonymous madlen said...

he, that are nice photos!
were there a lot of people at the patrick wolf gig?


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