Goldfrapp - Wonderful Electric Live In London (DVD)
What's often overlooked in assessing Goldfrapp's career is how much time, effort and attention to detail they invest when putting on a show. Unless you've seen them live your only knowledge of their music are the two very different albums they've released. Until now that is. For the very first time "Goldfrapp - Wonderful Electric Live In London" captures this rather special band in all their magnificent glory.
On Disc 1 Goldfrapp are caught on film at Somerset House which is the ideal location for such an event. With their "Black Cherry" album to promote Goldfrapp are performing at an outdoor venue on a Midsummer's evening. Without musical maestro Will Gregory (who's still a vital component of the duo, but who declined to perform on this tour) it's up to a diverse army of musicians to replicate live the albums multi-textured sounds. They're more than up to the task with violins, percussion and a pulsating bass guitar keeping company with the synths, beats and bleeps. Alison Goldfrapp looks divine in her fetching outfit, black boots and cute little hat. Her voice hits all the high notes perfectly and the spotlight focuses on her glacial beauty.
"Lovely Head" is serene and melts your heart, while "Tiptoe" is more impassioned, upbeat, full of funky synths and high energy dynamics. "Strict Machine" has the glam rock feel of the 70s which has a touch of vintage Donna Summer about it. The whole performance is benefited greatly by the lighting, atmospheric mood of the show and Miss Goldfrapp behaving like a teasing temptress. The extended documentary of the Black Cherry Tour "Twisted Summer" shows the duo at work perfecting their sound, describing the process, plus backstage footage, video clips and a rare insight into the private world of two reluctant yet talented musicians.
Disc 2 has a concert filmed a few years ago at the Shepherds Bush Empire during their Felt Mountain tour. This does feature Will Gregory and an orchestra. Alison still looks a knockout, but is dressed a little more conservatively. This gig is special as it features the previously unreleased track "Little Death" which has the feel of a James Bond song as the mysterious mood and aura is reminiscent of John Barry. "Horse Tears" is irresistible and Goldfrapp's own unique version of Olivia Newton John's "Physical" unveils a dry sense of humour. "A Trip To Felt Mountain" documentary is typically Goldfrapp - arty, imaginative and generously using black and white and colour film stock. We learn a lot about how they recorded their debut album, but the mystery and aloof nature remains.
My only criticism of this generous package is the omission of the bands videos for their singles which are all visually stunning. That said "Goldfrapp - Wonderful Electric - Live In London" is an essential purchase for any Goldfrapp aficionado.
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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