Our Matinee Idol
London, England - November 7th 1998
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Written By Charlie Calderin
Early last November on a trip to Paris to visit friends
was when it happened, the day I became a true fan of
Rufus Wainwright. I had been told to buy this album by a
musician friend and being a graphic designer and a
sucker for packaging I purchased the cardboard cased
Rufus Wainwright cd.
 
The first listen was kind of a shock. It became an album
that I liked but still needed to get to know. Flash forward;
I'm on my way to Paris to visit this girl I met in Miami.
The weekend after my arrival we decide to go to London.
While on a walk we saw a poster announcing shows at the
Sound Republic, a club on Wardour Street. On the list
of shows for that very evening November 7 1998 was Rufus Wainwright
who we had listened to together. We bought tickets at the
Virgin Store and were on our way to what we were sure
would be a nice laid back evening.
 
The club was reasonably nice if a bit too flashy. The stage was
small with about 20 tables in front of it an a bar towards the
back of the room. Upstairs there was a balcony where we
thought we would have the best view. I cant remember the
opening act but I remember she played for what seemed to
be hours. After her set and a short laps between acts
Rufus walked on to the stage like a TV game show host. I
had only seen the pictures on the album cover and didn't
expect the kind of charisma that oozed from his pores.
 
It felt like I was watching something historical, like
the Police at Shea Stadium on their last tour. It was
Rufus and a piano later joined by his sister Martha and
a guitar. He and she alternated instruments through a
long set of songs that could not have been long enough.
We both would have stayed all night to hear these two
sing songs we had never heard but loved. I wish I could
remember the song list but it was a year ago and I
didn't know the songs then. I don't speak to that girl
anymore but I'm sure we both listen to the album at
least once a day.