Review: Patrick Wolf

9.5 out of 10: Leeds, 9.05pm. A ridiculously enjoyable set suggests that 2008 may be the year of the Wolf.

Stage: Leeds, Carling stage

Time: Saturday 9.05pm

Dress code: Red hair, sequined waistcoat (quickly removed), tiny vest, cut-off denim shorts, sky-blue platform shoes, mic stand held aloft, and what appears to be the contents of a bowl of fruit dangling from his belt. Erasure's Andy Bell meets Morrissey. Beat that, someone.

In summary: Every year someone you least expect to takes this festival by storm. The 23-year old whizzkid has been there or thereabouts since February's The Magic Position album, but his amazing upping of the ante here suggests that 2008 will be the year of the Wolf. His songs have violins, mandolins, electronics, and trombones, and are as uncategorisable as they are ridiculously enjoyable. "A boy like me should shut those books and join the army," he suggests, camply, in A Boy Like Me, but in those shoes they'd never let him in.

Highlight: His hilariously irreverent take on Kelly Marie's 1980 Number One Feel Like I'm in Love, with the crowd doing the "pew-pew" noises. He speeds it up to thrice its normal speed before segueing into The Magic Position to wild applause and stage diving. "I feel like I'm on X Factor!," cries the triumphant Wolf. "I've finally been accepted."

Better than: Wolfman, Wolfsbane, Wolfmother.

Worse than: The Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. We have to say that or he'll eat us.

Talking point: The Wolf's comically bitchy banter. "So I have to hurry up so you can all see Razorlight, right?" he asks, and Razorlight's name is loudly booed.

What he'll be up to this time next year: Dancing around the main stage in even more inappropriate clothing.

Mark out of 10: 9.5


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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