You could be mistaken. This is Halloween and something is stirring, it’s not the bats. They are safely in the belfry and the ravens remain safely in the towers. But something sinister, something restless is howling and baying for blood.
Well, I’m sorry to disappoint but this is not the start of some ethereal Tim Burton-esque gothic horror but Liverpool’s Mountford Hall and the crowd here are not happy.
Alison Goldfrapp has left the stage in an almighty strop.
Bouffant a go-go and throwing tantrums, you could be forgiven for thinking you have just walked in on Elton John having a spat with Interflora. But this is Goldfrapp 2008, a Goldfrapp who have taken their sultry synth-sophistication and replaced it with a more mellow sound on their new album “Seventh Tree”, but tonight is anything but mellow. From the onset tensions are as fraught as the “Wicker Man” soundtrack they shimmy onto.
After a few warnings and the intro of “A & E”, Alison storms off after ‘intrusive’ camera flashes threaten her performance. Dissent and derision ensue and the crowd, clearly perplexed, do not like this one bit. Moments later Goldfrapp stroll back on and issue an ultimatum – any more camera flashes and that’s the end. It’s clear from the tension in the audience that there is a lot of damage limitation to be done and some parts of Seventh Tree just don’t cut it. The harps and strings that must have held their own in the Sydney Opera House only a month ago don’t resonate so beautifully in this auditorium.
Eventually they gather momentum on “You Never Know”. It is űber-Goldfrapp, sinister and sexy, light and dark and by the time they reach the familiar stomping ground of “Happiness” and “Ooh La La” some joy and normality has been returned to the audience. A quick and almost routine encore is raced through with the erotic glamour of “Strict Machine” standing out a mile high. And then it ends. With a slightly bemused feeling the crowd head home, the sour taste lingering like a gambler who having lost his life savings on a donkey has recouped half of it back on the last race of the day.
In a city that sees J-Lo come to the Capital of Culture this week, Liverpool already has enough diva demands on its plate and on tonight’s performance perhaps we have a pretender to the crown…
Now fetch my peacock feather quill. I can’t sign off with his pen.
Goldfrapp was part of the MTV Liverpool Music Week, the UK’s largest indoor winter music festival which continues until tomorrow night around the city. For more information on all the gigs visit [link]>