Goldfrapp’s Sunday evening set at the Somerset House was the perfect conclusion to a stunning, sun-kissed Pride weekend in London. With a rainbow flag flapping in the gentle evening breeze from the top of the cupola dome behind the stage, the stone of the neo-classical facades surrounding the courtyard turning a sultry blush colour in the evening light, the darkened stage was set for Alison Goldfrapp and her band to weave their wonderful electric magic.
Bounding on stage in huge black leg-of-mutton sleeves and flame-red curls, her band artfully arranged around her, Goldfrapp kicks off with Utopia and Lovely Head, the two tracks from their first album, that arguably sealed the band’s status as Britain’s sexiest electro-pop group back in 2000. If you were listening, that is. Given the mileage they’ve covered since then, and their seven studio records, each as impressive and beautiful as the last, this concert feels like a wonderful euphoric celebration of a richly impressive career.
The new songs from Silver Eye are delivered with such passion and integrity, with a stunningly extra-terrestrial visual accompaniment of what resembles moonscapes and solar eclipses, pulsating on the stage backdrop. In between the songs, in stark contrast, Alison’s crowd banter is adorably shy and intimate, very much bringing us back to earth, but in such a way that one feels that, for all the delicious moodiness, this is first and foremost a deeply personal performance. And when she lets rip in her higher register, her voice just gives you the chills.
With the light falling, the mood of the crowd rises to meet the succession of hits played towards the end of their set. The whole effect is just sublime: the architectural surroundings, the beautiful weather, the insistent electronic pulse of the music - a perfect combination of art, nature and emotion. It felt like the entire event had been orchestrated with Goldfrapp in mind. A truly memorable night, set to linger in the semi-conscious long after.