Tricky finds his groove on stage

November 12, 1998|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC

When Tricky began his career, working with the British dance music combine Massive Attack, he came up through the club bTC circuit in and around Bristol, England. As such, he was used to working in the studio and did occasional DJ gigs.

But playing on a stage, in front of a rock and roll band? That was something totally unknown to him. So when he went solo, and began touring behind his debut album, "Maxinquaye," he was a little less than confident on stage.

"When we started off, we were shy," he says over the phone from a tour stop in Knoxville, Tenn. In fact, he was so lacking in confidence that he insisted on having the stage lighting as low as possible. "Well, I was scared," he says. "I wanted everything dark. I didn't see us as live performers.

"But after doing it for about a year, your courage comes back. You're not so scared, and you want to perform."

Not only did Tricky want to perform, but he wanted to put as much punch as possible in his stage show. That wasn't easy, either, given the laid-back, groove-oriented nature of much of his early music.

"It was just frustrating, being so mellow all the time," he says. When the band wasn't being mellow - for instance, during their cover of Public Enemy's "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" - things were more energetic, but there wasn't enough of that energy to sate Tricky's hunger for excitement.

"I wanted more of that energy," he says. "So we just added things in, like drum and guitar parts. Or not even adding - just making things louder and jamming."

With his new album, "Angels With Dirty Faces," the mood has changed even more. In the studio, these new songs are dark and moody, but on stage, what comes across is pure, unadulterated tension.

"It's like when you want to go somewhere, and this is as far as you can go - you can't get any more out of yourself," says Tricky, describing the music's mood onstage. "After the shows, the kids usually say, 'Aw, that was so tense, man.'

"But they seem to like the tension, so that's all good."


When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Where: Bohager's, 515 S. Eden St.

Tickets: $20

Call: 410-481-7328 for tickets, 410-563-7220 for information

Sundial: To hear excerpts from Tricky's new release, "Angels with Dirty Faces," call Sundial at 410-783-1800 and enter the code 6166. For other local numbers, see the directory on Page 2B.

Pub Date: 11/12/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.