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 Post subject: Ritual Spirit Tour live reviews : Brixton Academy etc
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:22 pm
Posts: 6525
Really surprised that nobody's posted anything about this year's live shows yet. I thought I might redress that balance now.

Jo (jeni), her mates Chris and Jen and my two sisters (and my sister Ria's +1 - Alan) were at Brixton Academy on Wednesday evening. Helen (my youngest sister) only had a ticket for upstairs, but as we lingered out by the merchandise stand, Jo went in with everyone else and slipped back out with an extra ticket so Helen could show a standing ticket and we all went in. I bought one of the fractured logo t-shirts which I think are so brilliant, I might even buy another one.

Young Fathers were already on stage and making a bit of a racket. I have listened to the album a few times, so I was able to enjoy most of what they did. I like their attitude, but think that- at times- it was just a cacophonous din. If that sounds like an old person's observation (which it sort of is), then Helen, who will be 30 this year had apparently remarked to Jo that, "I don't even know what this music is!"

People went to the toilet, came back from the toilet, the crowd began to swell and some time around 9:15 the lights went down and the Massive Attack live band emerged from the shadows.

Over to the far left of the stage, we could just make out some movement. It was the wonderful MTB. Unfortunately, her vocals were rendered somewhat inaudible by the power of the band around her. For me, this would turn out to be a common complaint on every unfamiliar track she sang on. On the other hand, she sounded- in my opinion- great on Teardrop, Jupiter and the Flash treatment of Psyche. Also, Paradise Circus, described in the Guardian review of the gig as "insufferable" was one of the highlights of the set for me. So either me, or that gig reviewer, needs a new set of ears. I'll leave you to decide who....

The Mezzanine tracks, 18 years on it's just the singles now, all sounded as fantastically awesome as you would expect. For me, Angel was the highlight of the set. There's something about the combination of the prowling bassline and howling guitars that just works in the live arena. Of course, being able to call upon a performer as engaging as Horace Andy can only help. That said, Risingson will never not be appreciated by me either. One of four tracks to feature vocal contributions from Daddy G, I suppose there's not much that can be added to what has already been written on this forum down the years.

G also popped up on Karmacoma and, sometime later, the encore tracks Take It There (subbing for Tricky), with MTB also joining the boys- I wonder what Tricky made of that- and the closing Splitting the Atom which was a slightly downbeat, but enjoyable close to musical proceedings.

The tracks aired from the Ritual Spirit EP all sounded even better to me than they have done in my headphones. I was half hoping that Roots Manuva would appear for a rendition of Dead Editors, but wasn't too surprised that he didn't. Azekel sounded soulful, but, to me, also slightly unintelligible on Ritual Spirit. For me, that is perhaps the most inconsequential of the new tracks. On the other hand, Take It There, despite G not being able to carry off Tricky's sex pest vocals, really hit home. As for Voodoo In My Blood, featuring Young Fathers, well, I thought that the live performance of that track far superior to the one laid down on record, the Young Fathers brought some real power and menace to it.

Having not been around at the start of the tour, Deborah Miller made an appearance on the final track of the main set- Safe From Harm. This version seemed a little slower than the one we usually get, but I didn't mind that. I did think it was weird that Angelo Bruschini's guitar which normally dominate the second half of the song seemed overpowered by the twin drummers. Hey ho, a minor complaint.

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Dee's solo moments were all enjoyable enough, I've given up trying to work out what he's singing on United Snakes, but I love the pulsing rhythms of that track. Future Proof, with Helen having disappeared for a moment, saw me and Jo hand in hand during the one track from 100th Window- the album responsible for our relationship. So that felt like a special moment for us. And, this time, Bruschini's guitar totally dominated as it should have. Inertia Creeps? Well, it's Inertia Creeps, isn't it? With the "Jibberiser" in full effect behind the band, there were a few laughs.

I haven't really mentioned the visuals, have I? Well, in the main there wasn't anything regular viewers haven't already seen. However, Girl, I Love You featured not just another powerhouse performance from Horace Andy, but also the photos taken by Giles Duley documenting the refugee crisis. Displayed so quickly, they were almost subliminal, they did lead to wonder just how much you were supposed to be enjoying the musical performance.

As the final notes of Splitting the Atom faded into the night, Duley's photos took centre stage and, this time, you couldn't mistake them for subliminal images. It was a sobering note to end the gig on. Like a holiday reel from hell.

Overall, then, I think it was a solid, if not a world beating performance from our heroes. The highlights, and there were many, were spectacular, but the unfamiliar stuff didn't really grab and I think that there were a few issues with the sound coming off stage which never seemed to be resolved. That said, a night spent watching Massive Attack is... well, they're still Massive Attack, aren't they? 8/10.

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 Post subject: Re: Brixton Academy: Wednesday night
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2002 6:49 pm
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium
took the liberty of changing your topic title mr. oneteam 8)

Paleis 12 Brussels 10/02/16
Pee’s 20th gig
Arrived at the venue fairly on time, but we decided to have a drink outside first, and that took way too long, so we missed the pre show etirely.
Not whatI came for anyway, still on time for the massive though. Nice venue as well, first time there, good sound and enough space.
The beginning of the show has been the same for quite a while now: Battle box,United snakes Risingson,Paradise circus, then Ritual Spirit, was nicely brought,
certainly a good addition tot he setlist, the vocal perhaps slightly too high form my taste. followed by Girl I love you, Psyche,Future proof,Clock forward,Teardrop,angel,Inertia creeps,Safe from harm,
Encore 1 : Take it there,vodoo in my blood,He needs me. Encore 2 : Unfinished sympathy and Splitting the atom. So sadly,no Karmacoma for Belgium, but Unfinished sympathy in stead.
Apart from my heligoland favourites, Paradise circus and Splitting the atom, my highlights of this evening were surely the new tracks, with Voodoo in my blood taking the prize.
Really liked that, it brought a firm sensation tot he venue.
I agree with Pauli that Martina's vocals on some tracks were more like background vocalising, but sumblime on Paradise circus,Psyche and Teardrop.
My overall feeling was satisfaction. Can’t bring myself to watching the lightshow anymore,dispite the Dutch additions, and it’s too blinding at full blast.
Many songs have heavy light/guitar/noise parts added along the way (eg future proof/girl I love you) slightly overkilling at times, so that made me appreciate the unchanged classics more,
like teardrop, inertia creeps etc
But I must say, that many of my mates, who hadn’t seen the massive for many years all agreed that the show was outstanding and mindblowing,
all-in-all still a good night out :arrow: 8/10

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 Post subject: Re: Ritual Spirit Tour live reviews : Brixton Academy etc
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:23 pm 
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some backstage pics on Robert's instagram
https://www.instagram.com/robert3delnaja/

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 Post subject: Re: Ritual Spirit Tour live reviews : Brixton Academy etc
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:22 pm
Posts: 6525
Well, I'd complain Pee, but who would I complain to and who would listen? :lol:

Interesting to see what your friends made of it. Obvs, Jo and I are old hands now and for us both, the gig was good but not amazing. Everyone who came with us (and only Helen had seen them before- once) thought the gig was amazing. Apart from, perhaps Alan. It's difficult to know what he thinks about anything because he never. Says. Anything!

Glad to report, though, that the EP seems to have gone down very well with everyone I know who's heard it. Even my mate Baxi was singing the praises of Dead Editors, despite being very much a Blue Lines as opposed to Mezzanine kinda guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Ritual Spirit Tour live reviews : Brixton Academy etc
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:44 pm 
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