He performs material from the forthcoming 'Blowback album at the Meltdown festival in London...

TRICKY marked his return to the UK live arena with an uncompromising, two-hour set at the LONDON ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL last night (June 23).

Tricky made his first live appearance in the UK this year as part of Robert Wyatt’s Meltdown Festival.

Although the Bristol born rapper has not performed live in the UK for a number of years, his set retained a similar paranoid and claustrophobic feel to the shows that accompanied the release of his 1998 album ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’.

Tricky balanced material from his forthcoming album ‘Blowback’, released on July 2, with more familiar material from his back catalogue, such as ‘Ponderosa’, ‘Christiansands’ and ‘Black Steel’.

Although seemingly happy to be performing live again, Tricky remained elusive on stage, rarely speaking to the audience and performing for long periods with his back to the all-seated crowd. In addition, the light show left the stage in low light, or even complete darkness at some points.

His new material was described by one fan as “a combination of soothing hip-hop and heavy guitars”, with new tracks such as ‘Girls’ and future single ‘Evolution Revolution Love’ getting the strongest crowd reaction.

Tricky was accompanied on stage by two guest vocalists – Hawkman and Ambersunshower; the latter sang the parts of long-term collaborator Martina who was not present. Both vocalists appear on ‘Blowback’. However, the stellar array of other musicians on the forthcoming album, including Alanis Morissette, Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ John Frusciante and Cyndi Lauper, were not present at the event.

Tricky is lining up a comprehensive UK tour for later in the year. Also, he will play at the V2001 festival over the weekend of August 18-19.

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