Posted by: martinworster | March 31, 2009


A man like the Tricky pon da MIC in Solana Beach, Southern California

copy-of-_dsc0013_exposure‘I’m Tricky Kid…A superstar…I’m Tricky Kid…’ a forty year old not so kid and sort of superstar Tricky intoned as part of his twenty minute epic single song encore at the Belly Up in Solana Beach, California on March 22nd. As would be expected the show was unpredictable and erratic interspersed with moments of pure class. The set opened with a weird vocal free cover of Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams’ – the 80s would later be revisited with a dubby muted cover of The Cure’s ‘Love Cats’. A lot of the vocal duties were taken care of by his excellent female cohort Francesca – who appears on the new album. She even did a long cover of Motorheads ‘Ace of Spades’. Not that it was a night of covers – I just don’t know the names of the songs, I recognised a few from his first post Massive Attack solo album.

Tricky had his back to the crowd for a lot of the songs, writhing his skinny body to the music. He smoked continually. Judging from the colour and fuggish formation of the smoke it was spliff. This was confirmed as by the end he was acting really stoned. Brilliant. This is probably why he is so loved. His maverick ‘fuck you’ attitude, difficult for the sake of it, a true contrarian. Smoking herb on stage in the OTT anti-smoking mecca of California is a big two fingers (with a mighty doobie wedged between them) to the conformist Orwellian mind controlled SoCal robots.  It did however make for a stoned Tricky. At times his bandmates looked non-plussed as he disappeared into the crowd for ten minutes whilst they jammed. Or when he knocked his microphone over a few times and it clunked noisily to the stage. Or when they weren’t sure how much longer the 20 minute encore should continue for.

Amidst the madness, there was much beauty. His whispered refrains off set against the ethereal vocals of . Trip hop I think they used to call it back in the day. Whatever he did the crowd loved him. Lots of thirty somethings like myself, still reeling from Blue Lines, other younger crowd members probably introduced from his living in LA for the last ten years. His finale and his egocentric repetition ‘I’m a superstar’ illustrates Southern California living has definitely rubbed off on him. He should stick to what he does best – being an English eccentric nutter from the Council Estate.


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