Goldfrapp - Preston University - 20.10.03

Wearing an unusual mix of an air hostess meets Ann Summers uniform with eye popping cleave, Alison Goldfrapp has finally become the cool ice maiden who is gradually showing significant signs of thawing. This is a natural transformation from the mellow, laid back "Felt Mountain" look of innocent wallflower to the sexually vampish woman in control of her destiny themed electroclash on "Black Cherry". Goldfrapp have just returned from a tour of Australia and Japan, this being the bands second tour of the UK this year. If like me you saw them earlier in the year you'll be slightly disappointed to know that its near identical again, the same set list, the same moves from Alison and the absence of multi-instrumentalist Will Gregory. The only change is Alison's outfit.

Kicking off with the lush, dramatic and sumptuously seductive "Deep Honey" you could almost hear a pin drop as the silent admiration of the crowd watch in awe as Goldfrapp reproduce an album track wonderfully live with Alison's voice as angelic as ever. This is followed by "Human" from their first album which sees the band performing a fusion of disco, funk, rock and asian influences. As with every gig, the cool detachment of Alison results in very little banter with the crowd, but this adds to the overall experience of watching such a unique and disciplined band. Their cover of the disco classic "Yes Sir I Can Boogie" is inspired, sounding like a Goldfrapp original player so straight faced and seriously. "Felt Mountain" and "Black Cherry" are equally represented with "Utopia" and "Strict Machine" being my personal favourites which show two very different musical styles to a band who are constantly progressing and experimenting and delighting us in the process with the results.

For the encore Goldfrapp play the title track of their 2nd album - an emotional, fragile and presumably semi-autobiographical song as on the two occasions i've seen this performed Alison has shed a tear and shown signs of genuine sadness. As the song ends an eclectic magical evening a balloon bursts above showering us with glitter. We go home enamoured and elated.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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