Patrick Wolf at Norwich arts centre

Going to a Patrick Wolf gig is never going to be you’re run of the mill experience. This was an evening of requiems contrasted with songs of hope. Inequality and oppresion were musically fighting out with (Wolf’s own words) ‘happy songs’. Yesterdays parliamentary decision definately tipped the scales this evening

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Throughout Wolf (and his band) are surprising, surreal and stunning. His songs fling you about – stop where they shoudn’t, punch you in the solar plexus when they can. There’s no chance of being lulled into a musical slumber. His music is jagged, edgy, angry even aggresive … a sharp contrast to the unassuming and quietly humorous man on stage. What links the showman (for undoubtedly that is what Wolf is) and his music is the brutal honesty of both the man and the music.

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This is a rich evening in so many ways. Accompanied by clarinet, accordian, cello and a driving violin – Wolf (himself on tenor guitar, violin and piano) and his arrangements give the evening both a klezmer and brecht/weil like feel. His lyrics demand you listen. In every nook and cranny there is drama (Manchester International Festival take note – on this performance Wolf could easily write you your next Prima Donna) .

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Vultures return – he sings mid way through the set. By the end of the evening Wolf has me desperate to return to the beginning of the night.

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Tour and Patrick Wolf details here

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