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Patrick Wolf, Abi Wade: The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

By Peter Guy on Feb 8, 13 04:24 PM in Louden Up - Live reviews

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Patrick Wolf delivers a weirdly wonderful display at the Epstein Theatre, Getintothis' Joseph Viney salutes one of UK pop's most singular talents.

The faded glamour of the Epstein Theatre provided a fitting backdrop for the weird, wonderful and extremely talented Patrick Wolf.

The old-fashioned spine-straightening chairs, the colourful dado rails and winding staircases invoked a sense of times gone by; an organic look into our past. Both Wolf and his guest support act, Abi Wade, did much to blend old and new, such was the theme of the night.

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Abi Wade live at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

Wade, possessing stellar aesthetic and musical attributes, started the evening coy, chatty and perhaps even a little nervous.

Like the audience, she warmed and grew bolder as each song passed. Her work on the cello is indeed a sight to behold; frenetic pizzicato that finds time to dive between hands-on percussion and meticulous bow work.

Wade's voice drapes itself over the top of it all. One song, Roulette, saw her opine on the mysteries of chance and luck to an audience long in her thrall. Her old fashioned approach to music was in juxtaposition to her unconventional hairstyle and clothing, looking as if she stepped off the production line of a Tyrell Corp factory. Highly recommended for all.

Patrick Wolf, now a decade in the business, is a man of many forms. His rounded face calls to mind a young Morrissey, he possesses musical wherewithal that puts the majority of others to shame and his sense of showmanship and subtle humour is the calling card that has earned him a legion of devoted followers.

The lack of any notable and lasting mainstream attention is puzzling, but perhaps it's for the best. Wolf is at once too forward thinking, too intelligent and just too good for the wider world.

For now, Wolf evidently isn't too concerned with such travails. His performance was one of intricacy, dedication and the desire to express and emote freely without feeling ashamed.

His classical mores as a musician seep into the songs themselves; choice compositions such as The Libertine, Paris and The Magic Position hark back to a more pastoral age.

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Patrick Wolf supported by the Sense of Sound choir at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

Older songs that may have once been imbued with warm electronics are changed unequivocally with the use of piano, harp, violin, dulcimer, accordion - and wondrous backing from Liverpool's Sense of Sound choir.

Rapturous applause, whistles and cheers flood the stage at each song's conclusion. An outwardly reserved individual like Wolf took the plaudits in his stride, but internally he must have beamed.

Ten years have flown by for Patrick Wolf. From the early days of a wirey frame, big mouth and purposefully mismatched socks, comes a more measured and confident performer who, should he choose to do so, really could have the world in the palm of his hand. After so long, it might finally be Mr. Wolf's time.

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Patrick Wolf sings his heart out at the Epstein Theatre

Getintothis picture gallery of Patrick Wolf and Abi Wade at the Epstein Theatre.

Pictures by Getintothis' Marie Hazelwood

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Peter Guy

Peter Guy

is at the forefront of Liverpool's independent music scene reporting & reviewing on the latest sounds in Merseyside and beyond.
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With a collection to rival a small record shop and a gig diary fit for any addled groupie, music is Peter Guy's religion. Working alongside the key players across Merseyside and the national music scene, Peter has edited the official Liverpool Sound City magazine The Liberator, been a media partner with Liverpool Music Week and covered festivals and industry showcases home and abroad. Getintothis is his irreverent insider's guide to Liverpool's music landscape and beyond.

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