Having written that big review of Indietracks the other day, I’d almost forgotten to mention the gig I’d been to the day before: Patrick Wolf, at the Middlesbrough Institute Of Modern Art, a venue so stylish they insist on only ever being referred to in small letters: “mima”.* You could argue that it’s been done, but never mind.
The venue itself is a large, glass-fronted edifice in Centre Square, opposite the victorian Town Hall. The gig was held right by one of the windows; and as we were walking round the building trying to find the queue, other gig-goers were impressed they could see the crew setting up. “I saw Patrick Wolf!” one screamed. “With my EYES!”
Patrick Wolf is fashionable at the moment – popping up on the NME’s Cool List and Albums Of The Year** – so there were lots of Fashionable People in the audience; or, rather, lots of teenagers of the sort who think the NME’s Cool List is important. Plenty of tight trousers, and emo hair. Mr Wolf outdid them all, though, turning up onstage in a blue gingham outfit which looked vaguely like a Tyrolean barmaid’s costume, glitter covering any and all exposed skin, and artfully-tousled yellow hair dangling over his left eye. The careful placing of the hair didn’t last long, though; by the fifth song it had been pushed out of the way so he could see properly.
His music’s good, though. His singing voice makes me jealous of its strength, and he makes melodic, synthetic, original landscape-based pop. He deserves to be where he is, in fact, in the press and on the telly, because he’s very good at what he does, and there’s noone else really doing it.
* Even on all the road signs round the town. This gig, too, was K’s idea to attend.
** And popping up on Never Mind The Buzzcocks tonight, which is probably slightly less fashionable.