I’ve mentioned Rufus’s current CD Want Two before. That was the one I had to get on import because I didn’t want to wait for the belated UK release. It’s the fourth album from the Canadian singer-songwriter and as I might have mentioned, it’s rather good. As was its predecessor Want One. Having enjoyed those, I did the sensible thing and got hold of his earlier albums Rufus Wainwright and Poses. And guess what? They’re pretty damn good, too. In fact, I was so impressed that I changed the habit of quite a few years and got it together to acutally go and see Rufus in concert at Newcastle’s Journal Tyne Theatre on Saturday 9 April 2005. By the time I persuaded myself to book, the best seats still available were in the Upper Circle. Not the best position, but not bad.
After a short warm-up set from Joan Wasser in her solo Joan as Police Woman persona, Rufus and his band took the stage at around 8:50. Now I was expecting a good show. I’ve obviously enjoyed listening to the CDs, and Rufus is a frequent choice for my MP3 entertainment on my walks to and from work. I’d seen some concert footage which suggested he could pull it off live. But what I hadn’t expected was for him to be so funny. Lots of chat between songs, some of it about the songs, some of it just general chat, some of it ever so slightly naughty, most of it a lot of fun. It helped create a really happy atmosphere.
But the main business was, of course, the music. And what a lot of it there was . Including the inevitable encores, Rufus was on stage for over two hours. All the usual suspects were present and correct – Beauty Mark, Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, Vibrate (I love that opening line – My phone’s on vibrate for you), a storming version of The One You Love and as they say, many more.
One of highspots was Memphis Skyline, a tribute to Jeff Buckley, which led straight into Hallelujah, the Leonard Cohen song that Buckley made his own. Rufus’s version turned up on the soundtrack CD of Shrek 2, by the way.
The encore included some extreme costume silliness for Oh What a World, adding even more laughs…
I had a great time, and I’d defintitely go to see Rufus again.
 Want One
 Want Two
 Rufus Wainwright
 He did make a point of telling us that he’s always been a slut
 The band got to wander off a couple of times while Rufus did some solo piano numbers
 Rufus: I don’t sell enough records, so I can’t afford laser shows…..