It is no exaggeration to say that this was a gig to make me question everything I thought I knew about gigs.
The night didn’t start brilliantly when I forgot my covid card. Cue helpful advice from security and a scramble to download the NHS app. Ah well, you live and learn. Get to the door – ‘sorry no photo passes tonight…’
I eventually get in (thank you box office) and tuck myself into a corner to the side of the stage. The band emerges bang on 9pm. Opening with an instrumental track and a promising build up, Tricky is in darkness with his back to the stage. A smoke must be attended to.
Tricky remains in darkness for the entire set. Sometimes he is barely audible and vocalist Marta Zlakowska dominates the track, other times he gets right into it. Sometimes he disappears for a few moments, sometimes he is right at the edge of the stage facing his crowd.
And make no mistake, this is Tricky’s crowd. It is a mark of the man that the Manchester audience is with him all the way.
Around track six I am with him too. These are tunes to move you and make you move, whether you want to or not. The camera stays in its bag and I am treated to a 75 minute lesson in creativity and what music really means.
The man might be shy but the performance was fearless.
Tricky’s new album Fall to Pieces is out now.
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