Rufus Wainwright

Rock popera


Nationality: Canada

Genre: Baroque and ‘popera’


Whether he meant it or was just saying it to please, last time Rufus Wainwright was in Spain he said Spanish fans are the best in the world. He was probably just saying it. But he seems to like it here, and he’s back again, in Granada and La Coruña, and also at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, where he already appeared in 2008.

One of the reasons he spends so much time in Europe is because his music tends to sell so much better here. Release the Stars was a number two album in the UK and earned him a Brit nomination for Best International Male Artist. But although he’s had little problem convincing his native Canadians to buy his stuff as well, USAmericans are taking a lot more convincing.

Old Rufus tinkles away at the piano, or sometimes the guitar, and his tenor voice gives an operatic feel to ragtime rhythms, baroque music hall and all the other styles Rufus has been wont to have a flirt with. It sometimes gets a bit cheesy, dare we say camp, and if Canada was in Eurovision he’d win every year, but it’s all very easy on the ear. And never one to underdo things, Rufus knows how to entertain a crowd. He’ll put some smiles on a few faces at Primavera, that’s for sure.

Coz we love this kind of stuff here in Europe. Similarities will be noted with the likes of David Bowie, Elton John and Queen, all three of whom have been cited as influences on his forthcoming seventh album, called Out of the Game and due out in April 2012. He promises it will be his “most sort of ‘pop’ and commercially viable, radio-friendly work.”

Did you know: Rufus and his German partner Jörn Weisbrodt can’t make babies on their own, so they enlisted a woman’s help to have a daughter. And if you’re going to do that, why not do it in style. They didn’t pick any old woman – they got Leonard Cohen’s daughter. It got me thinking that did … in those situations, how do you decide which of the two blokes gets to ‘do the deed’ so to speak?



Friday May 4, 2012 Granada Auditorio Del Generalife

Friday June 2, 2012 Barcelona Primavera Sound

Tuesday June 6 La Coruña Palacio de la Ópera


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