Touring forthcoming album See Mystery Lights, YACHT are an American performance duo who explain at length where Oregon is (it’s on the left, up a bit form California) and spend their set in full occupation of the stage, backed by an elaborate powerpoint. Tracks like The Afterlife and the increasingly frenetic It’s Coming To Get You get the crowd moving, even if just to get out the way of stage debris. YACHT are not entirely unlike cruiseship entertainers, but in a more fashionable self-aware post-hipster sort of way. They close on an earworm of a song, Psychic City (Voodoo City), which I’ve listened to more times than healthy since.
The fourth album from baroque pop singer/songwriter Patrick Wolf, new release The Bachelor has had some difficulties along the way. However, none of the drama is evident tonight as Wolf opens with Oblivion and grasping hands reach out straight away. Without a pause the band go onto Bluebells then via Peter Pan, from Wolf’s first studio album Lycanthropy, into Count of Casualty, from the forthcoming. Meanwhile the band remain strong, particularly the violinist who is on form throughout the set with barely a break.
The mashup of strings and synth, with Wolf’s distinctive vocals overlaying, make new tracks out of old friends like The Libertine and Tristan, which sounds quite different with the touring band arrangement but is one of the crowd favourites for the evening.
Wolf introduces Damaris, from The Bachelor, as “the one… people seem to like the most so far” and it’s not hard to see why. Opening shyly, with Wolf playing strings, the track swells and is joined by drums to create a track that is at once mroe radio-friendly than a lot of his back-catalogue but is absolutely Patrick Wolf all over. Battle is also a departure from previous material, almost teetering into rock while being accompanied by a ukulele. The crowd, Wolf advises, would make a good army. One imagines that Wolf would be easy enough to follow.
The set winds down with Lands End and The Messenger, closing with an apology (“this is our last track… I’m so sorry”) and Hard Times, before – of course – there is a costume change in time for a short encore. The night ends with a joyous rendition of The Magic Position.
Count of Casualty
Accident and Emergency
The Magic Position
Review – Jack B
Photos – Helen Williams