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November 26, 2001 — 4 PM


Went to see the Goldfrapp concert last night at the Spectrum. A peculiar but intoxicating band, Goldfrapp hail from Britain and take their name from vocalist and composer Alison Goldfrapp, whose hauntingly beautiful voice propels the music. The concert could not have happened at a more opportune time; I only discovered the band recently after a German girl I met in Cyprus (Hello Emma, if you’re out there in Hamburg cyberspace) sent me a copy of the CD. (And on that note: how exciting it is to receive parcels addressed to “Kanada.”)

The band has thoughtfully provided free samples of their debut album Felt Mountain (my favourite for the moment: “Lovely Head”), so by all means listen to them yourself. Goldfrapp has a highly polished sound, replete with orchestral samples of soaring strings and punchy trombones, while the arrangements often reverberate into the ether. There is a particular cinematic quality to the music as well, a characteristic explained by co-composer Will Gregory’s background in scoring films.

Often a live performance of such a finely-honed sound will either be a mere copy of the recorded album (in which case, why not just go home and put the headphones on and save $27), or it will disappoint thanks to a sound that fails to live up to one’s CD-spun expectations. However, Ms. Goldfrapp, whose lungs might easily be at home in an operatic setting, overcame any such doubts with an emotional and entrancing performance. Her vocal power is also complemented by the fact that she is undeniably sexy, a real magnet on stage both in expression and appearance. So it seems all the more ironic that Ms. Goldfrapp has such a diminuitive manner on stage. She was obviously hesitant to say much of anything, and seemed quite floored by the audience’s exceptionally enthusiastic response, but the band repaid the favour with two encores, each with a higher level of energy and presence. By the end, I was fully enveloped and I departed with no small sense of awe.


Previously: Clear Away Your Desktop, Then Clear Away Your Desk

Subsequently: Click Me Baby One More Time

November 2001
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