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In concert: Goldfrapp at 9:30 club

goldfrappThings got retrofuturistic when Goldfrapp performed at 9:30 club on Monday. (All photos by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

By Aaron Leitko

Deep down, Alison Goldfrapp is a traditionalist. She only looks like she's from the future.

Well, the future of the 1970s, anyway. The golden-coiffed British singer's Monday night performance at 9:30 Club spliced sci-fi poses and tease-mag sensuality. The backing band dressed head-to-toe in silver lame. They played keytars, showed too much cleavage, and walked on stage through the eye of a giant silver donut. Of course, there was fog, too. It all screamed "Barbarella" or, possibly, "Emmanuelle Goes to Spacecamp."

The songs on Goldfrapp's latest album, "Head First," mirror that aesthetic. Composed alongside long-time collaborator Will Gregory (who was absent from the stage), the record puts a futurist polish on the roller-rink disco of yesteryear. Songs like "Believer" and "I Wanna Life" pair digital bleeps and bloops with moves cribbed from the Pointer Sisters playbook.

(Read more of this review and view more photos, after the jump)


Played live it was gaudy, glamorous, and more than a little thrilling. Dressed in a glittering black jumpsuit and platform shoes, Goldfrapp crooned through slo-mo dance moves.

Goldfrapp, 44, got her start in a more subdued environment - loaning hushed vocals to productions by atmospheric mid-90's electronic artists like Tricky and Orbital. That music - trip-hop - was heady, cerebral, and kind of a snooze. Working with Gregory, Goldfrapp took that genre's tools - buzzing keyboards, drum machines, and woozy textures - and applied them into time-tested rock tropes that played a little better on stage.

And it worked. Over the last 10 years, Goldfrapp has built up quite a cult. The performance was sold out and a few devout fans even showed up wearing blonde wigs. Over an hour and a half set Goldfrapp changed costumes--musical and otherwise--a few times, putting a digital spin on pretty much every genre that has ever aspired to fabulousness--including glam-rock, disco, and a few Bond-theme-worthy ballads. It was a familiar sound with a futuristic finish.


By David Malitz  |  June 22, 2010; 1:10 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Goldfrapp  
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