For all his cabaret-style performance and arty weirdness, Patrick Wolf is just a down-to-earth nice-guy. His over apologetic modesty is borderline ridiculous earlier on in the set when he debuts new track ‘Time of Year’, pausing during the introduction at least 3 times to insist that he’s going to “fuck it up”.
He is eager to please and obviously revels in the crowd’s adoration of him, but the love and respect is mutual tonight. Wolf repeatedly declares his love for Manchester and thanks us for having him and later he jumps offstage to makes his way through the crowd, greeting fans while still singing for almost an entire song. He is very chatty throughout, clumsily so, but it doesn’t ruin the set; his anecdotes and stories behind the songs bring us into his world and make for a more intimate experience.
He is convincing in his role of the ‘eccentric musical genius’, sitting down to play the harp and opting for a ukulele over a guitar. However, he avoids coming across as pretentious and appears not to take himself too seriously; it is like an excitable toddler, that he makes a spontaneous set list change in favour of a dance track, perhaps getting carried away with the lively atmosphere.
He shows a fondness for anything that sparkles, wearing what appear to be diamante ear plugs and later a glittering, gold top, however tonight it is all about the music and he skips his final costume change in order to play a few more songs, an arrangement he and the crowd both agree on. The critically acclaimed new album, Lupercalia, is positively upbeat and tracks such as ‘The Future’ and set closer ‘The City’ are already crowd favourites. He renames ‘Bermondsey Street’ ‘Canal Street’ for the Manchester crowd, describing Bermondsey Street as a place where you can be anything you want to be, a notion the audience fervently applaud.