Tricky, Gazelle Twin, Rival Consoles @ Convergence

Tricky, Gazelle Twin and Rival Consoles were a huge draw at Convergence Festival, playing in the magnificent surroundings of St John at Hackney Church.

Tricky, Gazelle Twin, Rival Consoles

Rival Consoles delivered an opening set of intense, layered and emotional electronic music. The compelling creation of London-based producer Ryan Lee West, the music swept through the beautiful venue and was coupled with a great light show.

We’ve featured Gazelle Twin before - in an interview and on our list of top gigs of 2014

Gazelle Twin by Kitmonsters

It was great to see her in this atmospheric church setting that served to amplify her songs of physicality and mortality in new ways. She gave an incredible performance of songs from her album Unflesh - dynamic, penetrating, and at times shocking with her screams, alternating beauty and darkness. It won her plenty of new friends, and set the bar high for Tricky.

Tricky by Kitmonsters

Tricky’s vocals were sparse at the start of his show, with the magnificent Irish/Italian singer and regular collaborator Francesca Belmonte majoring on mic duties. He seemed engrossed in a producer’s role, with his back to the audience, conducting the guitarist and the drummer. The music, subdued lighting and dry ice built up the tension but there was also a sense of tension in the audience - how was this show going to work.

It was more of a rock sound than expected, bluesy at times with fantastic SG guitar licks and drumming. The electronic sounds often low in the mix, giving it a raw feel and a sense that there would be some surprises.

Tirzah, Francesca Belmonte, Tricky by Kitmonsters

As the set built, so did all the elements that make Tricky’s music so special - the claustrophobia, the darkness, the politics, the sensuality, the female/male dynamic. He introduced London singer Tirzah - a favourite of his daughter, and also a collaborator on his new album Adrian Thaws - for one track.

Tricky steadily became more obviously present, dropping a mix of old and new material including Karmacoma, a glorious version of Black Steel, and My Palestine Girl from his latest release. A trip-rocked out cover version of I Wanna Be Your Dog was a thrill ride.

But it wasn’t until the encore that Tricky really shone though - suddenly much more vocally and physically commanding, and more at ease, giving the crowd that longed-for, intense, Tricky fix.

Tricky by Andrew Smith