Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, Rufus Wainwright is currently touring England. He is very popular here, where his recent album, RELEASE THE STARS reached no 2 in the charts and turned platinum. The highest position in the USA was 23. The son of legendary parents, Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, Rufus has won various awards for originality and creativity. His music is a blend of his beloved opera cum rock/ballad. Wainwright has a beautiful rich warm baritone voice that lends itself well to this form.
WHETHER he intended his outfit to reference Nottinghamshire's legendary outlaw or not, the Lincoln green trousers and matching Trilby certainly could have been his minor tribute to Robin Hood.When introducing a song about a boyhood crush he had back in Montreal, he admits: "I looked like a gecko when I was young. Veins sticking out and all that. But haven't I turned in to such a fabulous man?" prompting an approving cheer.
Rufus Wainwright sure has that kind of humour.
"What a ****ing nice setting," drawls the camp Canadian before correcting himself. "I mean, what a nice setting."
He also blathers about big sunglasses in the 80s, ending up on YouTube and Obama.
In stark contrast to the apathetic set by The Lemonheads, Rufus was here to perform, be it minus his band this time, alternating between guitar and piano.
Hallelujah, made famous by Jeff Buckley but written by Leonard Cohen (he wants to educate us with the fact) is by far the most familiar and most popular song in his 75 minute set. Yes, because it's a classic but probably more so because of the Shrek soundtrack.
It's the only time the crowd break in to applause on hearing the opening notes.
Vocally Rufus Wainwright is astonishing, his drawing out of every note a unique style of pop and opera that does more to bring the two genres together than Katherine Jerkins, Russell Watson, et al. It drifts up the hill and over the Hall and is best enjoyed laying back watching the clouds against the blue sky.
Until, that is, someone behind you starts squealing about their VIP pass and what drugs they've taken.