• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

patrick wolf, cottiers, glasgow

"Can I have a bit more harp, please?" Patrick Wolf is in the building.

He's jumping between piano, ukelele, viola, harp and an instrument I don't even recognise, showing his versatility on all of them while singing in a voice that's by turns yearning (shivering with echoes of Mark Hollis and David Sylvian) and full-on yodel. In short, he is a star. Well, in everything except actual stardom.

It's possible now that his chance of that has gone. When such a brazen come-on single as his 2007 offering The Magic Position didn't make him a household name, probably nothing will. He is condemned to play the role of the exotic musician out on the margins for the rest of his days.

In a freezing cold Cottiers on Sunday, dressed in mediaeval puffed shirt and laced-up boots, he brought a whiff of Bloomsbury era decadence to the evening, while ignoring or gently mocking the constant stream of Glaswegians who seemed to need toilet breaks after every song.

But it's a bit depressing that British pop culture no longer takes such a pop dandy to its heart. That seems to be reserved for the female of the species. So expect to see more of his support act, Abi Wade – a glorious, wailing cellist in a jumpsuit, who even at her fussiest managed an itchy thrill and prompted memories of everyone from Kate Bush to Joanna Newsom.

Where does that leave Wolf? A secret thrill. A Derek Jarman-style pin-up. A man out of time. A ruffled-sleeve-wearing troubadour who sings his heart out and makes a giant, giddy, chamber pop noise that only the chosen few get to hear. They're the lucky ones.


Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.