Alison Goldfrapp



Alison Goldfrapp’s eyes are staring out at the audience in giant-size close-up beamed from the full length of the stage’s entire back wall.

In the flesh, Goldfrapp keyboardist Evelyn May and drummer Seb Sternberg are battering out Strict Machine, Goldfrapp’s now classic piece of glamtastic electronic squelch as the climax to the disco diva’s Edinburgh International Festival extravaganza.

For the last hour, Goldfrapp has been vamping her way through The Love Invention, her first full-blown solo shebang after decades in partnership with sonic sculptor Will Gregory.

Birthed during lockdown, The Love Invention saw Goldfrapp co-opt pop mavericks Richard X, James Greenwood, songwriter Hannah Robinson, Norwegian duo Röyksopp and German house double act Claptone for the record’s machine age dancefloor friendly opus.

The experience thus far has been a slow burning epic, opening with Hotel 23 and the record’s title track, with Goldfrapp slinking her sparkly way across the stage bathed in purple and white lights.

A trio of dancers move very slowly on a tiled platform that looks somewhere between fashion show catwalk and municipal swimming baths, while the films behind show off some very suggestive flowers.

In between old favourites Number 1 and Ride a White Horse, Goldfrapp charmingly chats up the audience as if she’s doing a PA in a provincial wine bar, so at ease is she in the spotlight.

As the tempo increases on the pumped up amyl nitrate rush of The Love Invention bangers Gatto Gelato, The Beat Divine and NeverStop, May straps on a keytar, while Sternberg pounds out the rhythms dressed like he’s just left London nightspot Heaven circa 1981.

While crying out to be heard in a seat-free venue where the crowd can party untethered, all this still makes for a fabulous spectacle of sound and vision.

It is Strict Machine, however, that throbs, fizzes and hisses its way to the stratosphere.

When Goldfrapp raises her arms with her Cinemascope size eyes beaming out behind her, the plumage of her outfit makes her look for all the world like she’s set the controls for the heart of the sun and is about to take flight in a delirious display that is both demonic and euphoric.