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Patrick Wolf - St Phillips Church, Manchester, 19/12/2013

  by Harry Sherriff

published: 14 / 12 / 2013

Patrick Wolf - St Phillips Church, Manchester, 19/12/2013


Harry Sherriff watches Patrick Wolf, with his equipment falling apart on him, play a playful but remarkable and unique set at St Phillips Church in Manchester

All I knew about Serafina Steer before seeing her short support slot was that she played the harp and Jarvis Cocker, a long-term fan, had also become a recent producer. After the first two songs I felt very uncool for not knowing who she was. She has extraordinary vocals, intelligent lyrics and she can make some beautiful noise with that harp. After five or six songs I didn’t feel that bad. There was very little in between songs and Serafina had a demeanour that was more in line with someone doing a local open mic night for the first time. When she did speak into the microphone I had to strain myself to hear her. Bear in mind, we were in a quiet church. That’s not to say I want stand up comedy levels of raconteurship but I think a bare minimum should be: I should know the song, so if I do like it, which there were a few, I can go home and YouTube them but now after trying to search for songs I thought sounded like her’s and only getting adverts, I’ll have to listen to an album, so I guess Serafina got what she wanted. It’s not often you go and watch a man jump around a church, perform Frank O’Hara poetry and play instruments you can’t even pronounce but on the nineteenth of December, stupidly talented (I mean it, seriously stop learning instruments) Patrick Wolf did exactly that. Well, not exactly that because the gig didn’t go as smooth as intended but this resulted in a charmingly chilled out practice room feel. No moment encapsulates this more than the moment, with foot elevated on chair, Patrick realises his trouser zip is down and after some laughter and applause makes a performance piece out of pulling it up. The set-list was swapped around on-stage, leading to touring musicians having to walk off and wait in the wings with wine in hand. A drum machine that Patrick bought when he was twelve from the Salvation Army screwed up so much it got played for laughs and the song had to be reset a few times but it all felt natural to the evening. Wolf seemed to enjoy giving the more unknown tracks a rare outing. ‘The City’, ‘Time Of My life’, ‘Tristan’ and ‘House’ were saved for another night but this didn’t phase the respectful Salford audience. A unique, relaxed gig that fell on the right side of playful. The photographs that accompany this article were taken for Pennyblackmusic by Marie Hazelwood.

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Patrick Wolf - St Phillips Church, Manchester, 19/12/2013

Patrick Wolf - St Phillips Church, Manchester, 19/12/2013

Patrick Wolf - St Phillips Church, Manchester, 19/12/2013

Patrick Wolf - St Phillips Church, Manchester, 19/12/2013

Patrick Wolf - St Phillips Church, Manchester, 19/12/2013

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Photoscapes (2014)
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Marie Hazelwood photographs singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Wolf at a gig at the Scandinavian Church in Liverpool

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