Gig review: Rufus Wainwright, Edinburgh

Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright
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In comparison to his flamboyant and often scurrilous shows with his full band, this solo jaunt to promote his current best-of compilation was just a little off-the-cuff gallivant to Rufus Wainwright.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT

USHER HALL, EDINBURGH

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But such is his talent that even the fluffed chords, lazy enunciation and the general dizzy devil-may-care attitude could not dim the beauty of his songs.

Wainwright is more drama queen than busker, however, as he demonstrated when he hacked away at his acoustic guitar to undersell the likes of Jericho and Out Of The Game. He was on safer territory at the piano, where he could deliver his yearning gems with one hand tied behind his back – and practically did in the case of a left-handed rendition of Vibrate.

There was mischievous humour scattered among the heartbreak and vulnerability, including some shambolic exchanges with the adoring fans, and sister and support act Lucy Wainwright Roche as the world’s worst Liza Minelli impersonator, plus a couple of new songs which showcased his tender tendencies.

Even with such a seemingly ad hoc set-up, Wainwright pulled several spine-tingling moments out the bag, including an a capella performance of Candles, the plaintive Going To A Town, the dramatic indulgence of The Art Teacher and brother and sister in luminous harmony on Pretty Things and Hallelujah.

Seen on 05.03.14