Performing his seminal debut album, Maxinquaye, in its entirety, Tricky exceeded both high expectations and the album’s 57 minute, 13 second running time in a special show at the O2 Academy. Standing in the crowd while his label-mate Fifi Rong provided seductively enticing vocals over ethereal electronics, this inclusive feel was a theme for the evening. It started in the lively, family-packed dressing room and continued on stage, with Tricky gesturing for the crowd to join him while performing several songs at the latter end of an impressive set that lasted just short of two hours.
A few of the classics, such as Hell Is Round The Corner, were slightly reworked on the night – with Tricky’s barely audible sprechgesang whispers and serene backing band suddenly coming alive in a frenzied attack, repeatedly shouting lyrics like “my brain thinks bomb-like”. After performing the album – Overcome and Black Steel being other highlights – Tricky declared “fuck Maxinquaye!” and moved on to some favourites from his extensive back catalogue, such as Murder Weapon and Christiansands, with Martina Topley-Bird usually taking the vocal centre stage.
17 years on it seems the measured wander down Tricky’s well-endowed mind, that is Maxinquaye, is as dark and mysterious as it was back then, proficiently performed in the homecoming of the man synonymous with Bristol.