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Alternative romance from trip-hop trickster



Tattooed Bristol 'Kid' Tricky. Picture: Jack Dante Tattooed Bristol 'Kid' Tricky. Picture: Jack Dante

WHILE many locals were dipping into dessert or canoodling on the couch with their special someone last night, this former trip-hop fanatic was attempting to relive her adolescence to the sounds of muso/producer Tricky at city nightclub, Capitol.

My Valentine’s Day was neither laden with kisses nor laced with petals, but thanks to the tattooed-clad Bristol ‘Kid’ – (Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws) – now very much a man at 43 – and his melodic sidekick vocalist Francesca Belmont, it was hot and heavy.

Tricky exuded sensuality (as always) with his signature breathy vocals, while Belmont – who could never outshine Martina Topley-Bird (original singer) – radiated her own magnetism.

There was plenty of love to go ‘round, with the venue full of devotees tuned into a meld of hip-hop, punk and electronica. I had no idea the guy could pull a Perth crowd so big in 2011.

Although the all-drinking-all-smoking songster was promoting new album Mixed Race, I’m guessing most punters (like me) were there to hear tracks from his debut album Maxinquaye – named after his deceased mother (Maxine Quaye, who committed suicide when Tricky was four) and voted Album of the Year (‘95) by NME Magazine.

With classics like Ponderosa, Aftermath and Suffocated Love, this was the album of my teen years and few works continue to affect me with such intermingled pleasure and pain. 

While many favourites failed to make the playlist, Black Steel (taken from Public Enemy’s classic Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos) and a brief taste of Overcome did not disappoint.

Things got a little too hot and heavy when the ‘Kid’ threatened to “smash up” a guy near the front. After he ridiculed the guy’s hair – blond curls – and possibly insulted his girlfriend (I couldn’t hear what happened), bouncers eventually removed the couple – now that’s a Valentine’s Day to remember.

Apart from ‘curly-hair’, Tricky clearly adored his fans.

Twice he beckoned them on stage. In a last act of affection, he stepped off the platform and approached crowd members for a meet-and-greet.

With a hug and kiss from Tricky and a: “Thank you for coming” whispered in my ear, perhaps it felt like Valentine’s Day after all.

What: Tricky
Where: Capitol, Perth
When: Monday, February 14
Reviewed by: Sara Fitzpatrick

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