It's festival season in Australia and a flood of acts are doing side shows around the country. The Scissor Sisters didn't exactly blow my mind on Tuesday night and Goldfrapp weren't much better on Thursday. Thank fuck for Florence & The Machine, who are playing four sold out gigs in Sydney next week. That poor bitch might look 45 in the shade but at least she knows how to put on a show - which is more than Alison can say. Unlike the Scissor Sisters concert, I was actually expecting to enjoy this one. "Head First" didn't exactly blow me away when I first heard it but the album has grown on me a lot. Sure, there are no real singles but it's the perfect soundtrack for doing the ironing or washing up. It just kind of politely washes over you without ever really grabbing your attention. Which perfectly sums up the Goldfrapp live experience.
After emerging from what appeared to be a giant metallic arsehole in a feathery outfit that made her look like a gothic Plucka Duck, Alison kicked off the show with "Voicething". Possibly the worst Goldfrapp song ever recorded. She then mimed (or more specifically sang over a backing track) to several cuts from the new album including "Dreaming", "Hunt" and "I Wanna Life". I know second rate talents like Madonna and Britney use this trick all the time but at least they have the decency to do some choreography and spend some cash on pyrotechnics. Alison just stands in front of a wind machine looking bored. Of the new tracks, "Rocket" and "Believer" were definite standouts. However, the band definitely saved the best for last. "Ooh La La", "Black Cherry" and "Train" were a potent reminder of how far ahead of the game Goldfrapp was in the early noughties. They further redeemed themselves by performing "Strict Machine" as the encore - which I still think is one of the greatest pop songs ever written. All in all, not an unpleasant way to spend 90 minutes but I think I'd prefer to play their albums at home. It's not like you could tell the difference.