BBC6Music Festival

Future Islands/Sparks/Goldfrapp

O2 Academy, Glasgow

Keith Moore

four stars

SPARKLING electronica and thumping glam beats were the keynotes to Friday’s opening festival bash in the deco splendour of an old Glasgow picture house.

Future Islands’ glistening synthpop, juxtaposed against the growling vocal stylings of Samuel T Herring, opened the night with Aladdin and the fun was out the bottle. For 45 minutes they took us through career highlights, preparing the audience for the rock gentry that is Sparks.

The Mael Brothers talent never seems to wane, Russell’s soaring falsetto remains intact: witness the Moroder disco of Number One Song In Heaven and a closing Amateur Hour. Ron did his dance and there was a nice line in alternative Breton tops going on amongst the band. Their humour has never left them. When Do I Get To Sing My Way is timeless and who else would be bold enough to work Hieronymus Bosch in a lyric?

If Goldfrapp lack the Mael’s humour they more than made up for it by delivering a cracking set that had a passing nod to their elders and enough hits to end the party with a bang. From the glacial opening of Utopia to the stomping T-rextasy of Strict Machine Alison Goldfrapp was regal in red poncho, delivering a captivating 80 minute performance that showed a band at the height of its powers.