Goldfrapp - Manchester's Planet K - 18.6.01

The ice maiden tries so hard and yet she fails miserably. While the old look is being emulated by a few stylish student types, it seems highly unlikely that anyone will take tips from the new look Alison Goldfrapp. Whispers around the venue are suggesting Madonna but to be brutally honest its a damn site closer to that Nolan Sister who can't get pregnant in Brookie. Oh dear what has she come to.

What she lacks in style is obviously made up for by that voice and that music. It feels almost wrong that they're playing a venue like this to cider drinking students rather than to tuxedo-ed gents and their mistress' sipping champagne on warm summers night. However if you can't afford champagne there's always sparkling wine and if you're some sort of vaguely electronic left-field act then you play Planet K. Musically so rich and so very Portishead however much Alison cries "Portishead - were nothing like them real. In fact i've never really listened to them despite the fact that our bass player works with them".

What really lets down tonight's performance is it never really deviates from the recorded version and that ultimately is a let down. If there was so much as a slight visual stimulus then maybe it would all be worth it, but you have to question what are you getting tonight which wasn't on the CD? And the answer to that is sweet FA. "Utopia" and "Human" are still as haunting as the day you heard them complete with Star Trek styled effects but what they really need is that something special. Maybe commission some artists or film-makers as the Super Furries did the weekend before or maybe just try and be a touch more experimental in the live setting.

It was good while it lasted but somehow I can't see them ever making much of a dent in the touring circuit. Sometimes its more than music and on an entertainment scale Goldfrapp gave us nothing.

Alex McCann