When you go to see multi-instrumentalist and magical troubadour Patrick Wolf, you know that you’re going to see something special. And when you’re going to see the 29-year-old, now onto his sixth album, play an acoustic set in a theatre, it’s difficult to imagine a performance to anticipate more.
Support act Abi Wade does things to a cello that you’d imagine could only be achieved in a studio using, as she does, both its strings and its body to elicit a beautiful and haunting sound, and with a voice not unlike Florence Welch’s in those nice raw demos she did a few years ago, it’s difficult to imagine a more fitting support.
When Patrick Wolf walks onstage (with his band stripped back to just two), the auditorium is excited. And when he treats the room to acoustic renditions of some of his best loved numbers (Tristan and House, which is dedicated to a recently married couple who enjoy a dance just out of the spotlight) plus requests (Mercia) and older songs (London and Bluebells), he holds it in the palm of his hand. Tonight, Patrick sits at the Grand Piano (swapping intermittently for harp, ukulele and lapsteel) and demonstrates to us all what talent is, the snippets of stories and anecdotes accompanying his songs, heightening his intrigue.
A night spent in the company of this musician is always a magical affair, and tonight – in the warm theatre with the rain audibly gushing outside and the flicker of homemade films on a screen behind the persona of Patrick Wolf ; well tonight is more beautiful than ever.