Festivals Latitude 2016: Perfume Genius

Commanding and hyper-intense, the tent is wrapped around Mike Hadreas’ little finger.

Don’t be fooled by Perfume Genius’ pyjama-channelling outfit. He might look ready to burrow down in duvets for a quiet night in with Netflix, but what’s immediately apparent is his commanding, hyper-intense presence that fills a tent in a single cathartic roar.

Swaying, and facing the audience with a confrontational stare, Mike Hadreas does frighteningly unreal things with his voice; abrasive screams that scratch and rough like sandpaper burst through the canvas of ‘Grid’, and during a cover of ‘Body’s In Trouble’ by culty Canadian jazz musician Mary Margaret O’Hara, he floats and yelps interchangeably.

Playing Latitude on the same day as Christine and The Queens, Grimes – two other artists who gender-bend, subvert boundaries, and are daringly unafraid to be themselves – seems entirely fitting for Perfume Genius. It’s during ‘Queen’ that he soars highest. “No family is safe, when I sashay,” Hadreas cries, like he’s exorcising all fear and taking control. Today, Perfume Genius has a whole stage captivated, and wrapped around his little finger.

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