sex as a foreign language

awkward aural adventures

Patrick Wolf @ Club NME, Koko

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Photo Credit: adelaide_v Blog

The inside of Koko on Club NME night resembles a Bacchanalian soiree in full effect, bodies sway and writhe, mass cheers going up as their favourite tunes get dropped by the DJs hidden behind a giant screen. The city is burning, these are the last days of the decadence and the assembled have no interested in quelling the flames…they are here to burn, burn, burn.

There could be no better soundtrack then to this end of days revelry than the reborn Patrick Wolf, tonight showcasing songs from his forthcoming fourth studio album ‘The Bachelor’. The second Wolf takes to stage you become very aware that this is a proper show, not some dour indie band with three guys staring at their shoes, huddled together for safety. No, tonight we get Patrick Wolf: demi-god. He strides onto stage in leather trousers, with a wild mane of bleached blonde hair that stretches down his back and some sort of Butch Cassidy gone to G-A-Y waistcoat…it’s an impressive entrance that would have Madonna taking some notes… perhaps something along the lines of…oh to be young, to be cool, to be wanted. All of which Patrick Wolf manages to exhibit in spades.

Speaking of the first Hag of Pop, one legacy that she’s definitely left for Mr Wolf to pick up is the use of the ‘drinking straw’ microphone. It seems clear that with this album he doesn’t want anything to come between him and giving his audience a spectacle… and having to do anything so limb consuming as holding a microphone would massively hinder his shape throwing prowess. Instead we get a gyrating, diving, thrusting and strutting, neon Ziggy Stardust for the noughties who wants to reach out and touch you. There’s an outrageous menace behind the glitter and costumes which hasn’t really been seen from Patrick outside of his music yet, and pretty soon we’re launched into a quite seismic version of old classic ‘Tristan’ that seems like a marriage of Marilyn Manson and Shirley Temple. Both literally and metaphorically he seems to have spread his wings with this new material, interacting with the audience in a manner that brings down all barriers. Of new single ‘Vultures’ which comes on like a night down you’re local S&M club with members of Bacchus, Rammstein and the Thin White Duke himself, he recently commented… ‘It was in L.A. and I got involved in some dodgy Satanic sex games.’ It highlights exactly what sort of territory we are in here, cinematic, obsessive and muscular. Everything is a bit more extreme, the beats hit a little harder, the guitars are a little dirtier, and Wolf is the grand puppet master, watching with a dead eyed thousand yard stare as he unwraps the maelstrom around him.

There’s a moment when he breaks everything down, bringing the venue to a halt for the middle 8 of ‘Accident and Emergency’ which is simply magical, but the real stars are the new songs and the man himself. Right now June seems far too long to wait for the Bachelor and for all those scrambling for Jacko tickets right now…panic not, there’s a new showman in town.

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Written by Jonathan

March 17, 2009 at 12:14 am

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