UK's Goldfrapp ambivalent about hip-hop, Madonna

Sat May 10, 2008 10:41am EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - They are credited with influencing the fashion style of Madonna but British electronica band Goldfrapp don't have much time for the pop diva or other big acts they will be playing with this summer.

Grammy-nominated Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, whose fourth album "Seventh Tree" hit No. 2 in Britain in February, will share the big stages at two outdoor British music festivals with hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and Madonna.

"I think her fearlessness is amazing but I don't have particularly any admiration for her work," Goldfrapp, dressed in tight blue jeans, a shirt and sunglasses that were never removed, told Reuters in a recent interview.

On Sunday, the group -- acclaimed for their breadth of musical styles that canvas anything from pop to dance to glam rock -- kick off a tour of European concerts and summer festivals starting at BBC's Radio 1 music festival, where Madonna is also performing.

The straight-talking Goldfrapp will also be mixing with Jay-Z at Glastonbury, which has been criticized for straying from its roots by featuring the rapper as one of its top acts.

"People don't want it to become Americanized or kind of different, where you can't just wander around any more sort of half-naked with mud over you. I can see, understand that," Goldfrapp said about world's biggest open-air music and arts festival, which she dubbed "an English institution."

"I understand why people might start getting nervous that it will slowly wipe out the eccentric hippies ... Hip-hop is really conventional, I think," she said. "It's quite flashy, it's a lot about money, money."

Gregory, who hails from Bristol, England -- famed for breeding other electronic groups such as Massive Attack and Portishead -- said hip-hop was "about being wealthy, wearing a lot of jewelry" and was likely taken on due to Glastonbury's ever-growing reach.   Continued...

<p>Singer Alison Goldfrapp of British music group Goldfrapp performs at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California April 25, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>