Music review: Alison Goldfrapp, Barrowland, Glasgow

Like an electro Madonna, Goldfrapp’s reemergence from her creative chrysalis appears to have been seamless and effortless, writes David Pollock

Alison Goldfrapp, Barrowland, Glasgow ****

Looking around Alison Goldfrapp’s audience doesn’t offer much clue as to where her generational appeal lies. A young and energetic cohort bounce along up at the front to the electronic grind of long-established classics like Oh La La and Strict Machine, or the airy and uplifting technopop of Believer, Number 1 and Rocket, while a significant fringe of silver-haired veteran ravers nod away appreciatively at the back.

From a way back in the crowd, in fact, it’s difficult to tell which colour Goldfrapp’s own hair is under the lights – whether it’s a sleek blonde or an elegant silver. Her show, her music and her magnetic stage presence all ring with a certain agelessness, a freshness and energy which might leave you scratching your head that the most beloved of the music played here is more than two decades old.

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What’s even more impressive, in this context, is the fact she’s just gone through the largest creative reinvention of her life, on this evidence with a great deal of success. For nearly two decades, she and producer Will Gregory recorded as a duo named Goldfrapp; on last year’s The Love Invention, however, she went solo with an array of different producers.

Here, in smart black trousers and a black, sequinned bolero jacket, Goldfrapp catwalked the stage with boss energy, with two statuesque female dancers strutting alongside her and a pair of keyboard players and a drummer flanking the abstract video backdrop. Yet her conversation was warm, complimenting the crowd on their “sparkles” and recalling the time she played this venue with Tricky: “that was pretty edgy!”

These days her musical catalogue is incredibly rich, taking in those Goldfrapp classics named above, the buzzing live overdrive of Impossible, which she recorded with Royksopp, and her new material. These songs are impressively not-out-of-place, from the sleek grooves of Love Intention and Digging Deeper Now, to the LED torch song The Beat Divine and NeverStop’s crunchy, nerve-jangling riff. Like an electro Madonna, Goldfrapp’s reemergence from her creative chrysalis appears to have been seamless and effortless.

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