Manchester review

Róisín Murphy’s performance is a rampant, merciless tour de force of electro eccentricity. You have to be verbose when you talk about Murphy. To describe the hi-octane fuelled performance without language loaded with hyperbole is impossible.

With stunning effect, Murphy is the synthesis of the commanding presence of Alison Goldfrapp, the quirkiness and zeal of Gwen Stefani and professionalism of Madonna. All this amid a room and a stage that felt small and amateurish. The hour and half wait for the performance was littered by observations that the set designer shopped for lamps at Ikea and that Murphy’s beautiful outfits were on a flimsy-looking rail on stage. Any doubts disappeared when Murphy and her band came on stage and executed with impeccable, soulful synchronisation. This coupled with the most understated instrument of the night—Murphy’s voice—creates one of the best live acts of 2007.

Both these aspects are epitomised when the audience finally experiences Murphy performing Overpowered live. To see this year’s sultry, 303-laced anthem in action was utter genius and worth the price of the ticket. With the elegance and flair seen at Murphy’s performance with Gucci at Swarovski Fashion Rocks 2007, the crowd were ecstatic with the seamless transition into Seamus Haji’s stomping remix. Worth the ticket price, Murphy and her band overpowered the audience as high fashion and high energy collided with a crazy, climatic culmination of the eight-minute wonder.

The genius and epic nature of Overpowered was mirrored by the re-imagining of Moloko’s near-masterpiece Forever More. The harmony between the lyrics sang with the Roy Lichtenstein-esque graphics in the background with bubbles of the lyrics created an intertextuality that was transcendent.

Poignant and intelligent, this acid-funk odyssey combined all the elements of the show creating the distillation of a disco-delicious performance.

Words by Rudy Katoch, picture by Wraggy.


Vicky said...

Its great to read so many well deserved, positive reviews of Roisin's shows but I think its a shame that she keeps being compared to Gwen Stefani and Alison Goldfrapp. While I like both of those artists Roisin's style is her own and the only real commonality I can see is that they're all blonde!

Anonymous said...

I agree - typical sexist, blondist comparisons! She nothing like Gwen Stefani.

Rudy Katoch said...

A 'typical sexist, blondist' comparison?

If you had read the article, which I'm sure you haven't, I had said that "Murphy is the synthesis," of other great Female artists. I alluded to their famous attributes to compliment and complement Murphy's own.

Why this part of the review is prominent I don't understand: maybe it was because it was at the start of the paragraph.

The fact I compared her to Alison Goldfrapp, Gwen Stefani and Madonna are because of their work containing electro and funk. They are her contemporaries and by highlighting their best features to show Róisín's, I thought it would be a great way to introduce her to those not familiar to Murphy or her work.

Two-dimensional readings are unfortunate, but I hope this clears such accusations.