With John Murray
The new Goldfrapp album comes over as melodic and deep and so pleasant to hear. Tales Of Us (Mute), is full mystery and mystique like chapters of a book or soundtrack to a movie and my initial observations were prior to finding out more. A new website for the band has been created but I avoided this to make up my own mind about the album. Since then I note that indeed there will be some film surrounding the release due for cinemas later in the year and created by Lisa Gunning. For this album release too a hardback book will be available as an option with a bonus disc of music. The menacing sound of ‘Thea’ compares with the gentle reflections of ‘Jo’ but all with the soaring echoes of Alison’s vocals and the most wonderfully arranged strings and acoustic instrumentation. Inspired by books, dreams and places we all may take from these songs especially ‘Stranger’ which serves as a good sampler to the album but nothing compares to the drama of ‘Clay’ which closes the set. The history of the old dancehall is varied to say the least and much has been written of these. Nuala Naughton publishes Barrowland (Mainstream, £12.99), this week and plans to get married at the now legendary venue. This aging ballroom reinvented itself in 1983 as a rock venue opening with Simple Minds and they have been back a further 15 times. There are many facts in this fascinating book listing all acts and their support up to this year along with recollections from the artists and fans.With over 700 shows in the 1990s alone there’s plenty stories within with plenty photos along the way. Doors Open days this weekend offers a chance to see round and meet the author.