Goldfrapp Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC - September 30, 2003

Goldfrapp Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC - September 30, 2003
Looking part retro icon, part gothic dominatrix, Ms. Alison Goldfrapp arrived on stage dressed to the nines in thigh-high black boots and a short skirt, crowned with a titled '40s-style cigarette girl hat. There was no doubt from the onset who would be the star of the show. Apparently coming down with the flu, Goldfrapp seemed fairly sedate — no tantrums but no significant crowd interaction either. Still, the talented songstress managed to adeptly captivate the audience. The set succeeded in blending the slower trip-hop elements of Felt Mountain with the more upbeat, danceable moments off of this year's Black Cherry, which are at times reminiscent of early '80s Debbie Harry and Blondie. Highlights were the more dark and textured numbers, with Alison slipping back and forth between two mics, the second laden with an impressive array of effects. It was only at these points that the extent to which her vocal creations form part of the soundscapes became evident. While the music continues to attractively feature her impressive vocal talents, the more aggressive image and increasingly campy disco qualities bring the ugly hooting side of a strikingly large number of testosterone laden fans to a disturbing level. This, however, can't be accidental, given that during "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie," Ms. Goldfrapp took to erotically licking the Theremin antenna and shoving it up her skirt. Rumours have it that Will Gregory, the duo's absent half from this tour, is leaving, which would be unfortunate. While Alison has her charms and fans, time will tell whether the act can sustain its momentum and critical acclaim.