August 14, 2009
Patrick Wolf's dark side returns
photo by Louis Clark, for Wound Magazine, 2009
Update - Patrick's tweets on the subject:
Wow.. laughing so hard at that footage heart attack hilton just posted. That bitter queen should have seen me in my maison crimineaux days!
and one in German, roughly translated:
am an animal. I have not forgotten my place in nature as opposed to other people. I do not regret my conduct.
Patrick Wolf, appearing at a German festival Thursday night, became seriously agitated when he was told to end his set early. He refused, so they cut his mics. And then the fireworks began. First, watch this:
Fireworks is too kind a word - he threw everything he could grab at the person in the wings, including a piano bench. Originally, Pitchfork was confused that the woman you see (stage right) was the one he was aiming for. She's not - I think that is his (bandmate) sister Jo. It is someone offstage, presumably a woman (his use of "bitch") but we don't know.
What's important here is that this is not the first time this has happened. Patrick threw a drumstand at his stoned drummer a few years back, and he has a history of encounters with police. In one case, he disturbed other Madonna fans at a London show and then was questioned by police after he spit at a bouncer in San Francisco in early June.
While Patrick demands respect for his stage show, he does not afford that respect to other artists. Hence his stage invasion of an outdoor performance by Status Quo last year:
Amusing sure - the band didn't seem too upset - but also silly and attention-seeking.
In interviews, Patrick is kind, funny and intelligent, as he was when I saw his live show here in DC in 2007. I had hoped he'd outgrow the impulsive temper that led him to "quit" performing a few years back, but it should be noted that while Patrick has always had an excuse for his behavior, he never (or rarely) apologizes. He says he's found peace in domesticity with his boyfriend, but the level of anger he exhibits is quickdraw and violent. While he's truly a brilliant musician, he has a toxic combination of entitlement and bad temper.
Patrick hasn't issued a statement yet, but I suspect that - at the time - he viewed his tirade as a protection of his paying audience. It was the opposite. He encouraged them to start a "riot" which, had they complied, would have left audience members injured. Stupid fuck. Had I been in that audience, I would have been horrified to watch my "icon" come unglued. It was a selfish act and, if not curbed, one day that behavior is going to get him jailed or hurt. A friend of mine rolled her eyes and called him a combination of Ryan Adams, Courtney Love and Philippine-Airport-Bjork. Unluckily for him, forgiveness often only chases the famous.