Patrick Wolf and The Magic Position

Posted by Expert Gadget Reviewer on Monday, 15 January 2007

I had the pleasure to first hear Patrick Wolf’s music around about a year or so ago, October ’05 I think, supporting Bloc Party at a gig in Liverpool. Bloc Party’s performance was certainly impressive: calculated and meticulously delivered to the extent that hearing them play ‘Banquet’ was akin to hearing it blast through the speakers at any club night, but it lacked something, spontaneity perhaps; something that Patrick Wolf definitely delivered.

Patrick Wolf hasn’t been around – in a strictly commercial sense – for too long: releasing his first album, Lycanthropy, back in 2003, followed by Wind In The Wires in 2005, and, forthcoming in late February of this year, The Magic Position. But his life has been marked by a longstanding interest, and near obsession, with innovative musical production. Wolf is accomplished not only in playing such instruments as the guitar, piano, and violin, but also a plethora of unusual instruments including the harp, theremin, and ukulele. His music (which progresses as wildly as his hair colour from album to album) is a fusion of atmospheric strings, pop sensibilities, and well-placed percussion, layered together with an innovative laptop sheen. Anyone bored with the current crop of indie pretenders, then, who seem intent on ripping off the quality post-punk of Echo and the Bunnymen and Gang of Four (Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand, to name but a few), should give Patrick a try. The video above is a live studio version of a new single, ‘Bluebells’, from his highly anticipated third album. It shows something of the gentle power of Patrick Wolf’s work, and more importantly, it’s truly innovative nature; paying homage whilst also managing to bring something fresh to a whole host of musical styles. When Alex Kapranos was eleven, he was probably busy working out how he could make himself look cooler by using hair straighteners. Patrick Wolf was recording songs with his violin and car-boot sale bought organs on a four-track tape recorder. Enough said.