A wonderful enigma

It was a homecoming of sorts for Bermondsey’s favourite musical son, as Patrick Wolf announced to the crowd at The Relentless Garage that his musical career had actually begun in the room above when he was twelve years old. Fifteen years and five albums later, the multi-instrumentalist had packed out the intimate venue with a pack of adulating fans, many of whom seemed to be directly influenced by Wolf’s flamboyant sense of style and innovative dance moves.

Opening with synthesized strings that establish an atmospheric mood. Wolf’s husky baritone sails out from the speakers, before swelling into the recklessly joyous ‘Time Of My Life’, a kiss-off song with a infectiously defiant chorus taken from Wolf’s latest album ‘Lupercalia’. After a false start on the ukulele-accompanied ‘Wolf Song’, Wolf entertained the audience with a few jokes about how he’ll end up playing Las Vegas showrooms in ten years, if he can just tone down his “Britishness”.

Wolf’s four-piece band are bereft of a guitarist, which allows for the strings and the saxophone to shine, particularly on the final two tracks before his encore, latest single and foot-stomping pop-rocker ‘The City’, and the gloriously camp, life affirming anthem ‘The Magic Position’.

With a voice that blends effortlessly with his mix of pop, electro, and classical structure, stage outfits lifted from David Bowie’s wardrobe circa-1970, and a between song patter that would have made Victoria Wood proud, Patrick Wolf is a wonderful enigma of a performer. And one would guess that his small army of dedicated fans will follow him down any path that his eclectic career may take him – even if it is a Las Vegas showroom.

Words by David Harfield
Photo by Natalie Seery

Read Clash's review of Patrick Wolf's recent album 'Lupercalia' HERE.

View a full, accompanying photo gallery from this Patrick Wolf gig on ClashMusic.com HERE.

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