Archive for the ‘Rufus Wainwright’ Category

Rufus Wainwright Whitley Bay Playhouse 8th July 2015

rufusWell as well as being a tit man (at least according to his dad) Rufus Wainwright is also a pretty crazy, cheeky, funny guy. Oh, and he has some great songs too. Laura is a fan, and she was the main reason we were part of an attentive crowd who packed into Whitley Bay Playhouse for an intimate evening with Rufus Wainwright, as part of the Mouth of the Tyne festival. This was a solo show, Rufus alone with his grand piano, and sometimes on guitar, in great voice and on great form. The evening enjoyed visits from guests “Liza Minnelli” and “Judy Garland”. Yes both of them together! Actually they looked suspiciously like his sister Lucy Wainwright Roche (who was the opening act) and Patrick Duffy (one of the Rufus road crew). A couple asked for a picture and were invited on stage for group selfies during “Me and Liza”. Sister Lucy came back for the encore of “Pretty Things” and “Hallelujah” leaving Rufus alone to close the show with “Poses”. A great concert and great fun. I can see in Rufus some of the same zany humour which is characteristic of his dad, who would have been proud. I am starting to “get” just what Rufus is about, which Laura, of course, already knew.
Setlist: Beauty Mark; The Maker Makes; Vibrate; Grey Gardens; Out of the Game; Jericho; Want; Sanssouci; The Art Teacher; Sonnet 20; Les Feux d’Artifice; Schoenberg-style Improvisation; Me And Liza; April Fools; Gay Messiah; Going to a Town; I Don’t Know What It Is; Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk
Encore: Montauk; Pretty Things; Hallelujah; Poses

Glastonbury Festival 2013

Glastonbury Festival 2013
glasto1 I’ve already reported my thoughts on the Rolling Stones and Portishead sets at Glastonbury 2013, but I would also like to briefly reflect on my overall impressions of this year festival. We are just getting used to going to festivals again, having taken a long break from the days when we used to attend most of the festivals that took place in the UK throughout the 70s and early 80s. We have been to one day events in the years since then, but I really couldn’t face the prospect of camping and staying in a field for several days. Until 2010, that is, when Marie, David, Laura and I decided to take the plunge and go to Glastonbury. To my surprise and delight, we all enjoyed every minute of the experience, and we returned on 2011 and again this year in 2013. Glastonbury 2011 tested our faith, with a lot of rain and mud, and made me think twice about going this year. We hired a campervan in 2010 and 2011, but this year, partly as a result of the van getting stuck in the mud and having to get towed out by a tractor (which still gives me nightmares), we decided to try camping for real, in a tent (!) this time. So we bought a nice family size tent, and all the essentials: airbeds, stove, and even a blow-up sofa. We drove down on the Wednesday, arriving during the evening to get a spot in the campsite. Thursday was spent resting after the long drive, and moving all of all our stuff (we took far too much) from the car to the tent. Laura and David met some friends and left us for much of the time, joining us for the Stones and Portishead. We just took it easy, wandered around the massive site taking in the atmosphere, and caught a few bands along the way. glasto2 Highlights of the acts that we did see were: Beady Eye on the Other Stage on Friday, Liam showing off his old familiar swagger, Bill Bragg rousing us all to think a little on the Saturday morning on the Pyramid stage, Elvis Costello singing all those hits on Saturday afternoon, Rufus Wainwright alone with a grand piano singing sweetly on the Pyramid on the Sunday afternoon, and Primal Scream, who seemed a little lost and didn’t quite get the crowd going before the Stones. There were a lot more acts that I had planned to see, but there are so many stages and so many things to do it just wasn’t possible to do so. And the weather was great. There was a little rain on the Thursday, which produced a small amount of the obligatory mud. However that mud soon dried up and the rest of the weekend from Friday to Sunday was sunny and hot. So we juts took things easy, rested some, walked around the site a little and caught a few bands. My main objective was to see the Stones, and that was achieved. Anything else was a bonus. We left later on Sunday, driving home before the crowds started. The vibe at Glastonbury is great; very friendly with people of all ages. We certainly didn’t feel out of place at all. So my faith and interest in festivals remains renewed, and we look forward to Glastonbury 2014 (hope we can get tickets 🙂 ). I think one festival a year of this type is probably enough for me now, and probably all I can cope with if I am honest with myself. I returned stiff and tired and have only just got over the whole thing. However, there are lots of other festival types and one day events that we intend to visit over the Summer, starting with Massive Attack vs Adam Curtis as part of the Manchester International Festival tonight and The Stones in Hyde Park next Saturday.

Rufus Wainwright The Sage Gateshead 19 April 2010

Rufus Wainwright The Sage Gateshead 19 April 2010
Review by Laura:
Undoubtedly like many others, I was introduced to Rufus Wainwright’s music around 7 years ago via the Shrek sound track which features his rather lovely version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” This prompted me to research more of his work and five album purchases later I’d placed Rufus firmly onto my favourite artists list. Dad was issued with strict instructions to let me know if he was performing nearby at any time, so on Monday; admittedly several years later than I’d have liked, I finally got to see one of my heroes.
Before the performance we bumped into one of dad’s colleagues who was also there to see the show. He told us this was his third time seeing Rufus and his positive comments left me even more excited for the gig ahead.
After taking our seats, an announcement was put out stating:
“The first part of the program will be performed as a song cycle with visuals by Douglas Gordon. During the first set, Rufus has asked that you please do not applaud until after he has left the stage. His exit is part of the piece. After a brief intermission, Rufus will return for the second part of the show during which you may applaud to your heart’s content.”
Immediately after this Rufus slowly made his way onto the stage to an eerily silent audience. He was wearing what dad described as a long flowing cloak which dragged behind him as he walked. After some moments, which felt like they lasted longer than the entire first set, he finally reached his piano and began to perform a song cycle which lasted around an hour.
Despite the set being solely comprised of new material taken from his new album, “All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu”, I found it really easy to listen to. Indeed, it was a mixture of everything I most love about Wainwright. Simple vocal and piano arrangement, melodramatic lyrics, baroque trills, German Lieder structures and classic French song mixed with Elliot Smith-influenced folk rock. I thought he was possibly one of the most talented people I’d ever heard perform and I got similar feelings as I did the first time I heard Thom Yorke. As a former, all be it amateur, classical singer, I couldn’t believe the control in his rich baritone voice which seems to soar more powerfully than any recording I’ve heard has captured.
Although unfamiliar with the songs, the set was a perfect show case for the album. I enjoyed a selection of pieces which seemed to be Wainwrights adaptation of some Shakespearian sonnets. In typical Wainwright fashion, many of the songs also dealt with personal issues, one referring to his mother in hospital. I think the highlight though was a song which I think may be called “Who are you New York?” which was Wainwright at his flamboyant best.
After a short interval, Rufus returned, free of his twenty foot long feathered train, to enthusiastic applause which sounded odd after the audience’s silence during the first set. The second half was a selection of Rufus’ most well known piano based songs. These included “Beauty Mark”, one of his most early releases, “nobody’s off the Hook” my favorite song from the Release the Stars Album, “The Art Teacher” and “Dinner at Eight”, two of my favorite Wainwright tracks. He engaged in some, perhaps awkward banter with the crowd and gave a special mention to his former producer Neil Tennant who was in the audience.
After finishing on a lively version of “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk”, Wainwright returned to perform encores “Poses” and “Going to a Town.” He then thanked the audience for the support they’d shown him after his mother’s death and finished the evening with a rendition of Kate McGarrigol’s “Walking Song”.
I honestly think it was one of the most impressive concerts I’ve attended. Unfortunately dad didn’t share my view and didn’t seem to enjoy the evening as I had done. That’s a shame dad, as I can guarantee I will be dragging you to see Rufus Wainwright again the next time he tours.
First Half: Song cycle
Second Half: Beauty Mark, Grey Gardens, Nobody’s Off The Hook, Matinee Idol, Memphis Skyline, Art Teacher, Leaving For Paris, Vibrate, Little Sister, Dinner At Eight, Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk
Encores: Poses, Going To A Town, The Walking Song