The ephemeral Goldfrapp shook the rafters at O2 Academy Leeds last week.
To hear the best sound possible at a gig, it’s best to stand nearest to the sound technician as possible. And with a sound technician who is enjoying every moment of a concert so completely that he dances as enthusiastically as possible without taking his hands from the mixing desk, it’s almost guaranteed that the gig is going to be a good one.
Goldfrapp at O2 Academy was that gig. Vocalist Allison Goldfrapp took front and center in a reflective silver suit and orange hair blowing in a perpetual wind, while partner in crime Will Gregory dominated from the wings.
The night offered a mix of eras of the duo’s 17 years of music making. Opening with “Anymore,” the first song off their newest album Silver Eye, the room shook with a pulsating bass that reached the very bones of the audience. With Supernature’s “Ride A White Horse,” featuring meaty snares, the audience is invited to raise their hands to clap the song into a thunderous crescendo. Career-defining single “Ooh La La,” with its repetitive rhythm accentuated by a sharp guitar and synth, closes the main set with a stomping of feet as Goldfrapp’s ethereal and breathy vocals echo into the empty air.
The encore itself could be evocative of the transformation through the musicians’ careers, with the soft and slow “Black Cherry” inviting the band members back onstage, the pounding bass and wailing synth of “Systemagic” defining the newest album for all its interest in metamorphosis, and (easily their best song) “Strict Machine” sending the crowd off on the best note of the evening. The sea of people come alive suddenly during the slow build of a heavy bassline, culminating in a screaming synth that left the crowd awe-inspired.