HIP HOP TRICKY Arches, Glasgow, Sat 17 Nov.
They used to call him Tricky Kid. He lived the life they wished they did. Then he released a trilogy of radio unfriendly albums, punched a music journalist or two, realised he had a food allergy which altered his moods and then pissed off to the States from where he finally released a more commercial album this year. And so the Tricky story is supposed to have gone.
It is a shame that the Payback Press (an imprint of the Edinburgh- based Canongate) was unable to get the wee man to deliver on his promised autobiography last year. Intended to be an expression of ‘the many of voices of Tricky’, the book was never written but its purpose was clear: to represent the complicated personality of an artist who gets depicted as ‘a one- dimensional cartoon character’ more often than most.
He’s the young dope-peddling punk from Bristol who did a bit of time for forging £50 notes before he found salvation in music by joining the Wild Bunch and becoming a temporary member of Massive Attack. He is the scally whose mother either killed herself or died from complications caused by epilepsy when he was just a child; a mother who he then named his genre-defining debut album Maxinquaye after. He’s difficult, he thinks he’s Satan, he wears dresses and despite the low sales of Pre- Millenial Tension, Nearly God and Juxtapose (none of which are anywhere near as ‘difficult’ as has been made out), they still can’t get enough of him as a person while simultaneously downplaying the importance of his music. No one has adapted hip-hop to the British idiom as successfully as Tricky; not Massive Attack, not Roots Manuva, not anyone.
You wouldn’t guess that, of course, from the interviews, news stories and features that concentrate on his copious dope smoking and troubled relationship
AMERICANA THE HANDSOME FAMILY
Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, Fri 16 Nov; The Arches, Glasgow, Sun 18 Nov.
You might guess a parr lth) Brett and Renee Sparks would meet some challenging moments on the road. But after driving 9.000 miles across the US .r‘ their ‘soccer ma and pa' people- mover. the first tantrly of got‘hrc country are bearing up well.
‘My advrce to young bands would he. never open for a band lrke erco or anyone that has a bus and a drrver.’ says a good-humoured Brett. ' ou can't keep up. By tne tinte we got to Atlanta. yoo'd land there were no sausage biSCerts rr‘. McDonald's or so'nethrng. and break rnto a cornoiete lrrssv frt and tears. But it's a necessary evH: l,ou"ve got to reach people. lguess.‘
Still as tricky as ever
with the mother of his child and former musical collaborator Martina Topley-Bird. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t crave the thug lifestyle that he came from and which everyone still assumes he represents. In fact he wants no part of it.
Threat and darkness may lurk around the edges of this year’s album Blowback but it’s not the cartoon violence of gangsta. This is something altogether more profound, more universal. He has said of Eminem in the past, ‘he wants to be ghetto and I’ve been trying to run away from the ghetto all my life’ and if he punches the odd music journalist or two that’s largely because music journalists need punching now and again. He comes across as an artist making sense of his messy past by working up some of the most innovative, groundbreaking music that has entered the album charts in the last ten years. (Tim Abrahams)
The Beatles of the folk world
Much has been '.'/rrttert about the strange pairing of l'llf; manic depressive southern Baptist and his Jewish New York v/rte: not to mention the parrrng of Rerrnre’s spooky short stories .vrt'r Brett's conventronai country song structures. But With a new (ll) out. We l-landsome Family are headrng tlr.s ‘.'/£t‘~, at their best known so far '(Br'er: Marcus recently called them 'lhr; Beatles of the
folk v/or'ld'r and with a sound wh'ch rs as stubbornly idiosyncratic as ever.
The new record probably has more free verse thar: the previous ones and sometimes it's very difficult for me to set ‘.'.rords like that to musrcf says Brett. 'But in the end I'm very pleased vrrtir the resurtsf
And as they embark on the seven ‘.'/(.-(,-k l ..ropean leg of their tour they
had two days off rnbetweenr Mr And Mrs Sparks are entirely sanguine about the idea of cr< ssrng over rnto the mainstream market.
‘lt's totally absurd.‘ says Brett. 'I like records that I can stand to listen to — and my wife would never write lyrics like 'Walkrng on sunshine . . .' either' Now that's marital harmony. rNrnran Dunnettl I luxr/rg/tt rs out now on I. oose.
Music news now
ELVIS COSTELLO AND STEVE Earle top an all-star tour that rolls rnto Glasgow in the New Year. The pair are joined by Emmylou Harris. John Prine. Nancr Griffith at the Clyde Auditorrurn on Tue 15 January. The pornt of the get together is to raise money and awareness for the Landmine Free World capaign. Tickets go on sale thrs month.
BIG BAD HANK IS BACK. Henry Rollins makes a welcome return to Scotland, this time with his band in tow. They play the Garage, Glasgow on Tue 15 January. CONTRARY TO OUR announcement last issue. German funkmeisters Poets of Rhythms show at the Funk Room is back on. They play the Arches. Glasgow. on Friday 16 November.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN HAVE announced rescheduled dates after they cancelled their Barrowland show earlier this month. They now play Sat 30 and Sun 31 March, with the 30 March date sold out already.
CRYPTIC GIVEAWAY Glasgow-based music theatre grOup Cryptic are staging a production of B/ack Over Red. an adaptation of Russian poet Anna Akhmatova‘s epic work Requiem. This movrng poem. telling of turmerl in the lives of the people of Russia and was considered highly dangerous in the unstable trrnes of pre-WWII Russia. This grand production is a collaboration between Cryptic and the Latvian Radio Cherr.
We have five pairs of tickets for the j,)ertormance on Thu 22 November and live copies of the poem to give away To get yOur paws on the pew just send your“ name and address on an email to rnusrcairstcouk or a postcard to: Cryptic Competition. The List. 1‘1 High Street. Edinburgh. EH1 lTF by Monday 19 November.
There is also a talk before the performance. Call 01.11 28.‘ (3900 for more details.
lit 3:" N». 8‘. THE LIST 45