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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: November 10, 2008 @ 10:18 am

    Reviews: Goldfrapp

    Fiona McCann

    Over the course of four albums, Goldfrapp have nailed the seemingly impossible task of making fantastically catchy yet mysteriously complex pop music. Comparing the English duo’s live show to a football match might, at first, seem like a strange analogy.

    The band’s display in Tripod, however, had many ingredients that resembled a hard fought encounter between two teams, in this case the audience and the performer. The show had two distinct halves; the first was a subdued game of cat and mouse with each side reluctant to give anything away while the second half was far more open and entertaining.

    The reason for this unusual sate of affairs stemmed from the actions of Alison Goldfrapp. Dressed in a revealing pink silk costume with a six-piece band (minus co-member Will Gregory), all in matching white, the singer was a picture of self-assured yet detached grace.

    A couple of songs into the set, she brusquely requested that fans abstain from using flash photography. In Liverpool, a week earlier, Goldfrapp had stormed off stage due to this same request being ignored. Bristles of tension were palpable in the audience’s reaction and it created a frosty atmosphere that took time to thaw. Musically, the band never put a foot wrong. Utopia allowed Goldfrapp to show off her spectacular voice, and the spiky string arrangement of You Never Know was dazzling if not rousing.

    Little Bird provided the breakthrough that brought proceedings to life. Allowing the musicians to flex their muscles, the swirling psychedelic folk tune triggered the dancing feet of the audience.

    Following this with the electro-glam of Number 1 and candy-pop Happiness ensured everyone remained on-side. Even Goldfrapp finally appeared to be loosening out, as she tossed out compliments and lapped up the crowd’s responses.

    With the squelchy synths of Train giving way to Goldfrapp’s possessed theremin playing the show had turned from a jittery competitive fixture to a full-on friendly.

    Proving that it takes more than just great songs to make an excellent gig, and having delivered hits for a full 90 minutes, the band and fans parted in a wave of mutual adulation. BRIAN KEANE

    • Susan says:

      Having read the reviews from Liverpool and Scotland I was slightly wary of what may play out at Tripod as the band who had toured the world and was almost at it’s conclusion I figured it was fatigue which was taking it’s toll on Alison Goldfrapp. Having warned the audience not to use flash photography some enthusiastic fans made a slight error in judgment and flashed away, giving them the benefit of the doubt they may not have read the reviews mentioned. I applauded Alison’s death stare directed at the poor sod at the back, fair play girlfriend if it were real that punter would be in a body bag right now. She moved along to the second number after a while and tension rippled round the room but most notably the band looked like they were on egg shells adding to the drama.

      I agree the gig can be likened to a game of two halves the first being loaded with the ballads and dominated mostly by tunes from Seventh Tree, as an aside….Utopia being a spectacular performance which it was at the gig in Radio City Hall. The second half was a welcome tension breaker when they kicked off with their electro glam rock numbers which are always a crowd pleaser and the hand of friendship extended by Goldfrapp was greatly received by the crowd and it all kicked off.

      I’ve seen Goldfrapp a few times now and was pleased to see Alison cracked a smile at the encore (3 tunes never seen them play 3) and even had a laugh and seemed to enjoy the nights conclusion with the crowd giving it loads and showing their appreciation at a damn fine gig.

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