I Know How to Milk an Audience; Exclusive Alison Goldfrapp Used to Duet with a Dairy Cow Razz Rocks
Byline: By John Dingwall
GOLDFRAPP singer Alison Goldfrapp should have no fears about the band's next tour. After all, her earliest gigs involved working with livestock.
Alison first performed on stage in her twenties, milking cows back when she was a humble art student.
Rather than churn out a boring old live performance with an old heifer standing stage left, she took the bull by the horns, so to speak, to ensure her final year art project work perfectly.
The cow was wired up to an amplifier as she yodelled.
And to make sure the gig went well, she rehearsed up and down the country, milking cows at farms ahead of the live appearances.
Alison said: "It's true that I milked cows on stage when I was at art school. I'm amazed to hear you ask me about it and that it has managed to circulate all the way to Scotland.
"It was my idea. It was one of the pieces that I did for my final year. I had to go round all these farms and learn how to milk."
With her tongue firmly in her cheek, she admits the experience could come in handy.
"Working a cow could be quite useful," said Alison. "When the apocalypse comes, I'll know what to do. I'm going to have goats.
"Goats are easier to milk than cows actually.
They don't kick you. Every time I have milked a cow, it has kicked me and it is painful. With goats, it is also much easier to get into the udders."
If the experience of milking cows in front of a live audience didn't prepare her for the worst audiences in the world, she says working with rapper Tricky certainly did.
She sang on Pumpkin, on Tricky's classic debut album, Maxinquaye, toured with him for two years and spent much of the time arguing with him.
"Tricky wasn't the easiest of people," said Alison. "He was Tricky by name and tricky by nature. So after the cows and Tricky, I thought whatever anyone throws at me will be nothing in comparison."
It's perhaps that which has enabled Alison to deliver some of the most creative and visually stimulating live gigs, most recently in support of the band's current album, the brilliant, folk-tinged Seventh Tree, which features acoustic guitars, mellotrons and pastoral strings. …