patrick wolf @ sydney opera house 08-09.09.2012

Patrick Wolf has always been an artist that will keep reinventing themselves. With every album and every tour, he brings in a different side of himself. And with this year’s Sundark and Riverlight  tour, were acoustic re-recordings of songs in celebration of the release of his first album Lycanthropy. On board was a grand piano, a harp, and the signature assortment of ukeleles and violins, as well as an accompanying violinst and clarinettist.

Perhaps fitting with the venue, the studio of the Sydney Opera House, he produced a much more subdued performance compared to his two previous in Australia. Stripped away of the production evident in the albums, Patrick and his violinist worked beautifully, jamming off each other, re-incarnating his entire back catalogue. He played many old favourites, including Bluebells, which he described as the song which reminded him of Autumn in London. However, it felt as though the arrangements were a little hit and miss. Songs like Oblivion were more fierce than before stripped down, whereas Paris lacked its original fire on record, arranged for the piano.

It was also the debut for Trust from Lupercalia, which according to Patrick, had never been played before in its entirety. It was played poignantly, with Patrick’s fingers gliding across the harp in arpeggio motion.

Penzance was a real surprise, as a b-side from 2005’s Wind in the Wires. Especially as I had requested it earlier on Twitter. The arrangement also consisted of the deploying of a musical saw which was used to great effect. The audience were clearly happy to see him, made up of many fans who had been there during the last tours. He finished off by reciprocating the sentiment, joking at the lack of a band to jam off during The City, giving the audience a laugh as he feigned a mock self-destruction, before thanking everyone and bowing off till next time.

Setlist:
London
Teignmouth
Tristan
Paris
Bluebells
Oblivion
Hard Times
Together
Wind in the Wires
House
The Magic Position
Trust

Encore:
Penzance
The City

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