Massive Attack @Castlefield Arena, 6th September 2008.
Now have no doubt, since forming in 1988, Massive Attack have been as influential as any other band in the last 20 years from these shores. All of the 4 albums released are fantastic in every possible way, I would say even perfect however with perfection comes criticism. Oh they only do an album every 4 years, that could be seen as a bit slack, the music is taking a new direction, it’s a collective rather than a band, well, rather have perfection every four years than rubbish every two, if every album was like Blue Lines we would all get bored rather quickly, obviously then band have a broader taste in music than those complaining, and oh it’s a collective, look at what that has done, brought people like Horace Andy(who turns up late tonight), Liz Frazer and Sinead O’Connor in to the band, name one other band who have been doing this in the last 20 years. Tonight’s Massive Attack show I have only one criticism of the band, the bass player misses a beat once, that’s it. The only other criticism is that the crowd are as flat as a pancake. The rest of the 100 minute show is like a whirlwind, one minute its calm the next it’s a mass of noise and light, swirling higher and higher all mixed up with the fantastic visuals from the UVA crew. The music has always been layered and atmospheric, now Massive Attack want to get in your face as well. Safe from Harm once a beautiful laid back tune has morphed into a monster of a tune far from its original sound. Most of tonight’s tunes come from 100th window and Mezzanine. We do get a couple of new tunes due on next years Weather Underground as well as the obligatory, Unfinished Sympathy which will never be the live epic it can be until we see the return of Shara Nelson however new recruits Stephanie Dosen and Jhelisa Anderson do a cracking job on vocal duties all night. It all finishes with a booming version of Karmacoma, a beautiful night ended with a beautiful song.