Alpines, Goldfrapp @ O2 Academy, Bristol, 09/11/2017

GoldfrappIt says a lot about a band when they can sell-out a 2,000 capacity venue at a whopping £32.50 a ticket. Are these really the times we’re living in? There’s plenty of free music to discover all week long in the vibrant scenes of Bristol, but to see our heroes, it seems, the price just keeps getting steeper. And Goldfrapp clearly has an army of followers, having maintained a presence in the world of noise, beats, and melody since the early 00s.

Support comes from London based Alpines. They're an electronic duo who deliver big beats and that classic female R'n'B voice. Tonight, they have a drummer on board and even with synth player Bob Matthews donning bass guitar for a few tracks, there’s not a lot of musical depth. They bring it down and come back full of noise very well, and it’s not like Catherine Pockson can’t sing, but where are the hooks we hum the morning after on our way to work? The catchy melodies that stay in our brains, fermenting like a well-crafted ale aren’t here tonight. What is, is a very well-oiled style of singing that is better left to the pop stars of yesterday.

Now, bear with me, and I’ll tell you why. I’m going to bring Simon Cowell into the room (I have a 12 year-old daughter, so know a thing or two when it comes to the X-Factor). And for once, I was witness to some words, as a music reporter, I thought were quite fair. He said, to some forgotten hopeful: “When you hold your hands out in front of you, with your palms face to face. You do what every American singer does, that same reach out. But you’re not American. So, when you do that, you don’t stand out.

R'n'B singers are two to a penny these days, so how you stand out, is to take a leaf out of Alison Goldfrapp’s leather-bound book.

The band takes to the stage to low light and great cheer. It’s not long before everyone is shaking their hips to the Goldfrapp groove. They open with “Zodiac Black” and “Anymore” off latest offering, 2017’s Silver Eye. Alison is a woman of few words and when you have what she has, you don’t need them. What she has, is a voice. As I mentioned earlier, many people can sing, but few have a voice. Now, by voice, I mean Joplin, Winehouse, Nicks. Unmistakeable and never forgotten, and Alison sings like no-one else around.

It's never a dull musical canvas with Goldfrapp. Constantly evolving and creating new, modern sounds for which Alison crafts her melodies around. Tonight, there’s beauty and dam right dirty synth sounds elating the heavy beats these guys have mastered. Drawing heavily on their new album, for which they play seven songs (half the set) in a surprisingly short set. The mood throughout sees the band dancing between Silver Eye and Supernature; as floor lights beam upwards forever keeping the stage in low light. Alison commands her stage, swaying to the music as fans blow her hair back in trademark Goldfrapp fashion. With an hour gone, I’m surprised to hear hit single “Ooh La La” so soon. But they finish with another fan favourite, “Strict Machine”. Great to see the band triumph with new material. A greatest hit’s tour seems a long way off.


One Response to “Alpines, Goldfrapp @ O2 Academy, Bristol, 09/11/2017”


  1. Alpines, Goldfrapp @ O2 Academy, Bristol, 09/11/2017 – Live List - 20/11/2017

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