Guinness Hops Store, Dublin, Feb 13th, 2001
By virtue of the fact that tonight's show, in the suave surroundings of the Guinness Hops Store, is by invite only it comes as no surprise that jostling for position at the "look at me, I'm cool" back of venue is absolutely necessary.
Goldfrapp are here to flex their live muscle and check for any strains in their sound before embarking on their first proper European tour. Since the release of their first album " Felt Mountain", critical praise has become a constant assumed companion with Alison Goldfrapp. Confidence, however, is not as much in display as concentration. The performance is as polished as the stage, which is laden with Top of the Pops-esque paraphernalia.
Will Gregory, the other half of the song writing team, sits glaring upon his keyboards blending the eclectic musical spheres all around him. The six-piece live version orchestrated by his lead. Moog Driven "Utopia" portrays the silver screen aura which has given rise to so much journalistic mouth froth.
But for all of their left-of-field Electro-Ambient fusion, Goldfrapp owe as much to cineheroes such as John Barry and Ennio Morricone with trippy textures creating a cold, vacant backdrop almost reminiscent of the Barbarella soundtrack.
Tonight's exercise is essentially an aural mock-up of the real show. Their previous collaborations with Tricky and members of Portishead are evident in so far as the show is devoid of any contact with their audience whatsoever. And the piercing wizardry of "Lovely Head" carrying more than a suspicion of Bristol Trip-Hop.
Goldfrapp's world is packed full of Gainsbourg-like sublime amorousness but cemented with a sound that is almost chilling. For all of the care and attention given to getting a coherent live mix, the feeling that they set out to achieve on record is dissolved through a lack of live human performance.
Check out also the review of GoldFrapp's gig the following night in the Temple Bar Music Centre