Goldfrapp at Brixton Academy: A visceral and sensual show
The Silver Eye tour suffered a setback when illness caused Goldfrapp’s Birmingham concert to be cancelled, but there’s no hint of under-the-weatherness at tonight’s gig in Brixton. The frontwoman is in fine voice and on top form. The set, a sophisticated showcase of Goldfrapp’s distinctive arty pop, plays its crowd perfectly, easing invitingly into hypnotic sounds from the new album and culminating in joyful dancefloor-fillers.
An ethereal intro sets the mood, then it’s straight into two new tracks from Silver Eye: Zodiac Black and Anymore. Video projections begin, casting familiar yet abstract entities onto the back wall. There’s something synesthetic about these performances, in which harmonious sounds complement the oozing gradient of coloured lights, pupil-dilating flashes, creeping smoke and other effects which combine to create something interconnected and visceral.
“It’s good to see you,” says Alison Goldfrapp, before launching into Train, released in 2003, from album Black Cherry. Winsome and energetic, she whirls about the stage in metallic trousers and the most magnificently puffed sleeves ever seen this side of the Tudors. She’s flanked in pleasing symmetry by keyboardists Angie and Hazel, drummer Seb and guitarist Charlie just behind.
Released last March, Silver Eye is Goldfrapp’s seventh album. It’s emphatically electronic, like Black Cherry and Supernature before it, and woven through with mysticism and folksy dreaminess.
The sensual and meditative Moon in Your Mouth from the new album is a highlight of the show. Its meditative sound with those other-worldly high notes is paired with projections of a lunar eclipse, zooming into what could be retina flashes behind eyelids. It’s therapeutic to behold and it makes clear that the album’s title, Silver Eye, refers to the moon. The band were last at Brixton Academy when touring with 2005 LP Supernature. There are a good few of its tracks tonight, including You Never Know and Ride a White Horse
Finally comes the anthemic Ooh La La, with its instantly familiar glam-rock hook. A thoroughly warmed-up crowd bounces and sings along in delight. The gloriously high-spirited encore comprises Black Cherry followed by Systemagic and culminates in the iconic Strict Machine, featuring industrial grind, arcade-y synths and feline backing vocals. The frontwoman’s dancing makes full use of those puffed sleeves.
The set – and the tour – signs its name with an explosion of silver glitter that matches Alison Goldfrapp’s trousers. A visceral and sensual show from an artist who knows exactly what she’s doing.
Photo: Guifre de Peray
For further information and future events visit Goldfrapp’s website here.