As Tricky popped up all too briefly and unremarkably in Beyoncé's performance of her hit 'Baby Boy' at Glastonbury in 2011, the social media universe collectively yawned "WAS THAT TRICKY???" and it was easy to forget just what a pioneer the man has been.
In the early nineties, as the UK music scene wrestled with acid house, guitar indie and the birth of Britpop (more guitar indie), England's South West was responsible for opening up a whole new aural landscape led by bands such as Massive Attack and Portishead, and, at the movement's heart, one Adrian Thaws, aka Tricky.
'Trip hop' oozed an easy cool, its plaintive lyricism and electronica striking a perfect balance between indie sensibilities and the thrum of house. Through Tricky, British music had a new narrative. And it could be a dark, foreboding place; the music thought-provoking and mercurial.
His 1995 debut album, 'Maxinquaye' (named after his mother) was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and was almost universally praised by the music media. But it was nothing without Tricky's then-girlfriend Martina Topley-Bird who led the vocals on many tracks and provided the crucial counterpoint to Tricky's murmured missives on others. Live, the undisputed magic of that album has proved elusive, until now.
For the first time in 15 years, Tricky and Topley-Bird will be performing the tracks from 'Maxinquaye' in their entirety at three gigs in the spring. The first is in Bristol on Thursday 26th April, followed by a performance at the inaugural Sundance Festival London on 27th and then the Manchester Academy on Saturday 28th April 2012.
We will have tickets available when they go on sale at 9am on Thursday 1st March, priced from around £25. Sales are expected to be brisk.