Goldfrapp’s zeitgeist moment may be long gone. These days synthpop is sleek, clean and digital. Hearing Goldfrapp’s music in the flesh reminds us of the dizzy thrills of the squiggly, pummelling sound of analogue synths. It reminds us what synthpop has been missing.
Alison Goldfrapp is notoriously particular with her A&R, a trait that carries over into the live show. Hats off to any photographer, amateur or professional, who was able to snap a decent picture of her last night. Throughout she is backlit, singing her distinctive coo through a veil of ginger fringe. Though when you wear a tin foil suit on stage you can be forgiven for being camera shy.
Goldfrapp’s latest Anymore is a swerve away from the ethereal twang of Seventh Tree and carefree pop of Head First. Their current bent for heaviness is reflected in their set, which is Goldfrapp at their most austere. The faux-mystical, patent leather, jack booted electro stomp of old. It sounds fantastic.
There aren’t many oldies in rotation nor much fan service. ‘Number 1’ is the closest to a lighters akimbo moment, whilst ‘Ooh La La’ and ‘Strict Machine’ sound as good as ever. Meanwhile the new material sounds up to scratch, with ‘Ocean’ in particular impresses. ‘Anymore’ is as good as anything they’ve released.
No amount of moody lighting can disguise the fact that Alison Goldfrapp has no rhythm, but her robotic vogueing is perfectly attuned to the retro-clash sound. Her voice is a wonder, and loses not even an ounce of nuance. Her delivery of ‘Anymore’ in particular is pitch perfect.
Indeed the whole Goldfrapp band sound incredible. The decision to include a live drummer pays off – as the beats retain their robotic precision. Meanwhile the appearance of not one but two keytars, is something we need to see more of.
Goldfrapp do pop perfectly. We may have moved on to zen production and humming digital since Black Cherry was a smash, but we really shouldn’t have.