Lycanthropy is the' ability or power of a human being to undergo transformation into a wolf, or to gain wolf-like characteristics'. South London singer-songwriter Patrick Wolf does not evidently have any convincing wolf-like characteristics, although there is something of a wolf motif running through his work.
Debut album, 2003's 'Lycanthropy', was several years in the making and was released when Wolf (born Patrick Apps) was just 19. Many of the songs had a lupine theme and there were darker hints throughout, including the ominous 'The Childcatcher'. Not a playful ode to the pantomime baddie from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but the story of a boy being targeted by a paedophile.
Wolf's third album, 'The Magic Position', was released in 2007 and saw a more poppy departure from his earlier 'folktronica' sound. Since then, Wolf has found a pop (and a Radio 2) audience, experienced depression, recorded another LP with lupine overtones (the imminent 'Lupercalia') and announced that he is to enter a civil partnership with his boyfriend.
Patrick Wolf is still only 27 but he has already released four studio albums to critical acclaim, with the fifth to be released next week. Just as he seems to have found himself as a person, he is producing his most radio-friendly work. Recent singles 'The City' and 'House' have earned him a radio 2 session (tonight) and will, no doubt, help sell out much, if not all, of his autumn dates.
Wolf plays The Ritz in Manchester tomorrow - check the link below or with the venue for availability - before appearing at the almost sold-out Clapham Common Get Loaded in the Park one-dayer on Sunday. The autumn tour kicks off back in Manchester on 26th October, then visiting Leeds, Sheffield, Oxford and Bournemouth before a final show at London's Roundhouse on Friday 4th November.
Tickets for all the autumn dates are on sale from 9AM on Monday 13th June, priced at £13.50 (£17.50 for London).