Goldfrapp at the Roundhouse, London, gig review: Audience is whipped into a disco-glam frenzy
There is always something thrilling about seeing artists reinvigorated by reconnecting with what they do best.
Having reinvented themselves through evocative etherealism, bucolic folk, refined synth-pop and sparse dreamscapes, Goldfrapp’s veins are once again coursing to an electronic pulse. Tonight the Roundhouse is whipped into a disco-glam frenzy.
Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory might have sensibly concluded they had taken their sexually charged electronica to the logical limit during their mid-noughties commercial zenith: Black Cherry and Supernature went platinum, wiring the pair to pop’s zeitgeist, influencing everyone from Madonna to Kylie Minogue.
But having grappled with regeneration with various degrees of success, seventh album Silver Eye, out this week, realigns Goldfrapp to the early-hours dancefloor.
Not everything is the same: Silver Eye casts a darker spell, and tonight singer Goldfrapp is elegantly funereal in all black rather than the dominatrix gear siren of yore. But a clutch of new songs have a similarly feverish effect.
'Anymore' has a scuzzy riff plucked straight from the Black Cherry tree; 'Systemagic' is a Prince-goes-robo-pop strut; 'Everything is Never Enough', with its propulsive Krautrock rhythm, is the sort of track that could have been a hit if your name didn’t need to be Ed Sheeran to get into the charts these days. Mid-tempo tracks like 'Moon in your Mouth' crystallise the slow seduction Goldfrapp use to such captivating effect.
Goldfrapp herself is demure yet commanding, wringing every ounce of emotion from “Utopia’s” wraithlike operatics, stomping the stage as “Train” builds a whirlwind head of steam with crashing drums and incessant synths.
By the time an extended “Strict Machine” turns the Roundhouse into a throbbing glitter-bomb of delirium, you’re grateful Goldfrapp have looked back in order to move forward.