Gig Review: Goldfrapp – Colston Hall, Bristol – Tuesday 1st April

After an enriching opening performance from exciting French act We Were Evergreen and a tipple of the local ale, I could only share the anticipation of the sold out audience for Goldfrapp. I could just about make out the band entering the stage, dressed in black with a dark etched tree scape backdrop hung in the centre of the stage, no eye contact is made. The ambience is dusky, the audience waits with bated breath, then Alison Goldfrapp enters to unanimous applause that rings through Bristol’s Colston Hall. Her head is bowed as she glides in an elegant black cape sleeved top and trouser ensemble, finished with simple stilettos. Goldfrapp opens with “Jo” from their latest album, ‘Tales Of Us,’ and the vocal lingers and sways through the hall, humble, passionate and curiously shy. The pinspots alternate in accordance to the music; the lighting is minimal and modest, appropriate for the trance like state the music weaves. The bass occasionally surges, offering hints of a high tempo, settling and then fluxing again. Surprisingly it feels seating is appropriate. Later, “Alva” introduces what feels like a long awaited crescendo climaxing with a sweet sounding guitar fill. After “Clay,” one of her more emotive numbers, Goldfrapp looks up and smiles and asks, “how you doing?” Her first acknowledgement of the audience feels strangely like a gentle slap across the face awaking me from this surreal daydream. Throughout the show Goldfrapp’s lyrics resemble a poetic letter. At times I see Goldfrapp as a vulnerable lady, tentative to see the reaction of the audience to her new work. In reflection now as I write this I remember the shear difference in physicality when she performs her more recent work compared to how Alison’s confidence soars to new dizzying heights, as “No.1” ‘walks out into velvet.’ Throughout, Goldfrapp’s phenomenal vocal range strikes me; it’s effortlessly powerful, smooth and seductive. I am delighted by the drummer’s precision as Miss Goldfrapp’s arms sway. Credit has to be noted to the delightful harmonies from the young lady on the keys, who herself could have had more time to shine in Will Gregory’s shoes. Driven synth trip-hop lends a hand for the audience to stand; Goldfrapp’s arms and head are aloft as she empowers her musicians. On return for the standard encore, thunderous applause is split by the pounding bass drum as smoke billows across the stage and the guitarist plucks the opening of “Utopia,” followed swiftly but more calmly by “Clowns,” both are met with “oohs” and “aahs”. A fascinating live performance of “Lovely Head” with Goldfrapp screeching into an instrument microphone is unbelievably enchanting as the strobe lights flash. “Strict Machine” last up leaving The Colston Hall in awe. All in all a great show and kudos to any band that can commence with an extract from “Peter And The Wolf.” For my first live Goldfrapp gig, it was far more enjoyable then expected. Alison Goldfrapp is extremely talented, modest and sexy, if you get a chance to see them I would not turn it down. Review by Sebastian Foux  Find out more about Goldfrapp at their official website.