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Orange

On Monday night I was lucky enough to see Patrick Wolf’s London show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden.  Most of the songs he played were from his new album The Bachelor, but he did play a few songs from his last album The Magic Position; the title track and ‘Accident and Emergency’.

Wolf and crowd

I’m a big fan of Patrick Wolf. He’s one of a few pop/indie musicians around at the moment who write really interesting music

Patrick Wolf and violin

This quite interesting article goes into Wolf’s background in performance art collectives and electronic instrument construction.  In it he is compared to my favourite pop musician David Bowie.

I’m not entirely sure that you can compare the two.  The 1970s had a very different musical landscape, and Bowie’s experimental approach to performance was ground breaking at the time.  But the more I think about it the more the comparison makes sense.

For one thing look at this –

Bowie’s first dabble with electronic music Earthling (released in 1997):
bowie-earthling

And a better view of Wolf’s flag outfit on Monday night:
Union jack

The lyrics for Bowie’s ‘Battle for Britain’:

Don’t be so forlorn, it’s just the payoff
It’s the rain before the storm
Don’t you let my letter get you down
Don’t you, don’t you, don’t you, don’t you

Don’t you let my letter get you down, down, down, down
Don’t you, don’t you, don’t you, don’t you
Don’t you let my letter get you down, down, down, down
Don’t you, don’t you, don’t you, don’t you

Down, down, down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down, down, down

And Patrick’s ‘Battle’:

Battle the Patriarch
Battle for equal rights

Battle, battle, battle
Battle back your liberty
Battle the long night
Come on
Battle battle battle
It’s your time

So I suppose even if Wolf isn’t the new Bowie, they certainly both have a penchant for union flag clothing and defiant British electronica.

What is great about Partrick Wolf isn’t really his outlandish outfits or confident stage presence, but his musical talent.  Wolf has the confidence to try different styles of music and write songs about different emotional, political and fictional themes.  Listening to Wolf you can really feel his passion for sound.  And I can never resist a fellow harpist.

Patrick Wolf is touring the US for the rest of June, heading back to the UK for the beginning of festival season.  Highly recommended.

Patrick Wolf

02/05/09
The Electric Ballroom, Camden.

Quick edit to add:

Here is a post from Style Bubble about Wolf’s clothes and costumes.  And here is a more recent post on his Battle costumes, including a very Saint Sebastian-esque speared jacket.

DSCF3621

Once upon a time, the economy broke and a whole lot of other awful stuff happened…

Don't worry

…but art cheered me up.

From my past posts, you can probably gather I’m a big fan of seeing lots of live performances, as cheaply as possible.  Actually, every performance I’ve written up on this blog has cost less than 15 pounds – all of the Edinburgh festival events, and all the stand-alone performances at day ticket prices.  It helps to have a student card and a flexible morning schedule to scope out tickets, but even for posh places like the ROH you can try your luck at the ticket office just before the performance.

Back when I was in Sydney I liked going to the Belvoir St box office on Tuesdays to get pay-as-you-can-afford tickets (or a minimum of 10 dollars) for shows at the downstairs theatre – if you’re there about forty minutes early you’re pretty much guaranteed a seat, depending on the popularity of the show.

According to this article in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian arts sector is starting to suffer from the economic downturn, and companies are starting to look at discounting tickets across the board.

ETA: Here’s another one today.

Last night I went to a great Balkan club night here in Edinburgh – seven pounds for a couple of hours of crazy folk-ish/gypsy/klezmer music, plus belly dancing, and an impromptu farandole-mosh-pit.

I love you

Tonight I went to local arts co-op Forest to see a performance from Anti-folk-ish harpist Erica Holcomb.  It was great.  The harp pieces were better than those on the guitar, and the crowd was a little distracted and noisy at times, but free concerts are awesome.

Harp

Moral of the story:

Take advantage of cheap tickets if you can get them – show everyone there is a demand for good quality, affordable theatre and music.  Go see new things.  Be nice to box-office staff.  Student performances and emerging new acts are cheap, and sometimes free.  Free/inexpensive shows can be bad.  So can expensive ones.  Arts companies like loyal audiences.  Support them.

Art is free!
Art is (sometimes) free!

August 2017
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