The Ritz, Penzance
Review by Jacob Woolcock /concertsincornwall.co.uk
TUCKED away at the back of Penzance, among a sea of tables and sofas, Patrick Wolf stepped on stage for a delighted crowd at The Ritz.
Equally as quirky as the venue and dressed in chain-mail with silver make-up, the admittedly eccentric singer played a stripped-back set covering songs from throughout his illustrious ten-year career.
Taking to an eclectic selection of musical instruments, ranging from violins and harps to piano and miniature guitars, his unique style of music captivated the audience throughout his set, regularly disrupting his own songs to talk to the crowd explaining the stories and trials that led to him writing his music.
His stories proved especially relevant given the venue, which was his first proper performance in Cornwall.
Having spent many years in the county, Patrick told the crowd how he'd briefly fallen in love in Hayle, ran away on the train to Penzance and walked Cornwall's beaches daily gathering inspiration for his music.
Songs such as Wind In The Wires and Tristan were both written on Hayle's beaches, while the hauntingly beautiful Penzance recounts a time when he felt lost to the world, fleeing to the town for a chance to escape and regain a hold on his life.
The crowd greeted these particular tracks with a huge applause, matched only by the noise they made during the climactic showstopper, The Magic Position, where Patrick Wolf forged a beautiful fusion between piano and violin to the delight of the audience.
For the last ten years Patrick Wolf has travelled the world playing his music to adoring fans, exploring different sounds and techniques and, of course, experiencing life from many different angles. In Penzance, Patrick truly came home.
He explained towards the end of the gig that he'd "put enough songs on the setlist to play for a good five hours", but sadly he had to stop after just two. From the reaction of the audience, we could all have enjoyed those full five hours.