Goldfrapp, Guildhall, Southampton
Monday 06 February 2006
That is not a problem that Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have had to endure. Even their Mercury Music nominated debut album, Felt Mountain, was more pastoral than subversive, Goldfrapp's dreamy vocals washing over luscious string-laden backdrops.
But the one thing that Goldfrapp possess is the ability to adapt to their surroundings. They are the chameleons of dance music, with an uncanny knack of producing great pop tunes. Combined with Alison Goldfrapp's carefully crafted sexy image, and her penchant for theatrics, it's an enduring concoction that made both Black Cherry and Supernature such huge money-spinners. The fact that their T-Mobile backed hit "Ooh La La" outglammed Marc Bolan in its infectious Seventies campness proves that Goldfrapp have more in common with Madonna than Massive Attack these days.
One wonders what new stage theatrics they will bring to the table now, on the second leg of their Supernature tour. The answer is: very little. Gone are the regular performance artists with their tassels and stag heads, and in their place a simple white backdrop with five musicians in front of it.
Accompanied by drums, bass, guitar, violin, and omnipresent synth, Alison Goldfrapp launches her operatic vocals into the Sixties-noir pastiche of "Felt Mountain". Pink top billowing dramatically, blond hair blown backward in a light wind, she gives a performance of Kate Bush proportions in "Never Mind".
The hypnotic hip-gyrating groove of "Train" is a crowd-pleaser, and her hair flails dramatically as the tempo soars."Fly Me Away" is delivered without any frills: a pop masterclass. "Ride a White Horse" is another thoroughbred, as is the most anticipated song of the night, "Ooh La La".
She finishes off with "Number 1", "Strict Machine" and "Black Cherry". All three draw heavily on her obsession with electro-pop perfection and finish the night off in a riot of glitz.
Touring to 26 February (www.goldfrapp.co.uk)
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