Central Park Summer Stage
New York, USA (06.07.00)
this was not a real concert, more a promotion for Product Of The Environment,
with Dave Courtney, support act: State Of Bengal, Luc Sante

an exclusive "review" from the man of the day, Rick:

    Whats up all.....I'm Rick, the guy who got to beatbox with Tricky at Summerstage, which is going down as the greatest night ever, in my book. Just the fact that I got to meet him would've been enough to tell my kids, but to perform with someone who pioneered the music I love, is beyond words. I had known he was gonna be there for awhile, since i was checking out the
website and was stoked about him and Roni Size playin, along with Rahzel. When I got there, I saw some old friends, and chilled with them while State of Bengal spun some Indian style drum n bass, which I was really feeling (I'm a junglist to the death). A poet came up next, and read some long poems about prisons, which the crowd was definitely not feeling, including my friends, who vocally let him know that. It was around this time that me, my friends, and a few people around us started to wonder whether Tricky would be doing actual songs or just reading poetry.

    Finally, Tricky came on stage, along with one of his friends, who intoduced himself and went into a story about life in London while Tricky remained silent. (I wasnt following the story too well, but the guy was pretty damn funny) Eventually Tricky took over, and explained his new album, and then asked if there was a beatbox in the audience. I raised my hand absent-mindedly, without realizing why he was asking. ( I had been partaking in the $4 Heineken's, so i was a little bit more chillin) He told me to go up, and I couldn't imagine doing that, so I'm all like nahh, chill, while my friends are practically throwing me up on the stage. I can honestly say if it weren't for them and the Heine's, it might not have happened,  so respect to
Nesli, Dana, and Mikhail.

    So, I got on the stage and turned around and after that point, my mind lost it. To look at a sea of heads, all staring at me and Tricky, and cheering,  was one of the greatest feelings ever.  I couldnt stop laughing, cause my mind was whirling. I looked at Tricky and told him "Im really not that good at all, seriously" He says "Do whatever you want." Still in an utter state of shock, I dropped a beat and the crowd lost it....to hear that, oh man, I can't even come close to expressing the feeling. So I kept on
going, changing it up and adding breaks and drums (I live for Jungle/Drum n Bass, so thats where I get all my influence and style)  I wanted to make a trip-hop sound for him, but add a little Drum n Bass sound to it. He asked me a few times to change it up, which I did. After about 10 minutes, I stopped and told him how I felt about him and hugged him, at which point I walked off, out of my head. What I didnt realize, was that he was done too. I thought that he asked for a beatbox just to do one song or poem, not his whole performance.

    I went back to my seat, getting all types of praise from everyone, on the hugest rush of my life. I got back to my seat, and bugged out with my friends. This was when the audience started getting pretty pissed. The hostess came on and told the audience, if they wanted him back, they would have to make it happen. Everyone shouted for him, and he returned, letting
the audience know "I didnt know I was supposed to do an hour" and asking "Where'd the beatbox go?" I raised my hand and he asked me to come back up, which I did. When I got to the front, there was a girl already climbing up on stage. I was like cool, it's always dope to have two beatbox's goin...She turned to me and whispered, you do the beats and ill do the hooks. Im like cool, and so i dropped a beat, and she started singing some shit like " Trickyyyyyy, we loveee youuuuu" The crowd wasnt feeling it and neither was Tricky, who started to push her away from the mic. I kept on goin, along with Tricky and the girl, who wouldn't stop.  Im not too sure about how the end of the set occured, but what I've heard is someone threw something at the girl, or said something about her, but Tricky got pissed and walked off.

    I know everyone else that was there at the show was pissed off and disappointed, besides me. But obviously, I had the best night of my life. But if I hadnt gone up, I would be one mad fan. I wouldn't quit listening to his music, but I would look at him in a different light. To everyone's thats given me respect, thanks alot, you have no idea what it means to hear that for something I just do for fun. Peace everyone.

        Rick (nycjunglex@aol.com)

a review from nme.com:

Tricky - Bizarre performance led to catcalls and walkouts

TRICKY stormed off the stage at NEW YORK's CENTRAL PARK SUMMERSTAGE last night (July 6) after the audience greeted his bizarre, almost farcical performance, with a chorus of boos and a large proportion of walkouts, nme.com can reveal. The trip-hop star reacted angrily to a less than favourable greeting afforded his new spoken word project Product Of The Environment and blasted the crowd for "wasting my time" before stomping off.

The Bristol-born star, joined onstage by former gangster 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney, had begun by explaining that the new material was a collection of "stories from the underground" which contained no singing, just recollections by England's most notorious criminals - "Real gangsta rap," he added.

Following an anti-police rant by Courtney, Tricky called for a human beatbox from the crowd, and embarked on a 15-minute rap which closed the very brief set. They both left the stage, but Tricky returned following disgruntled noises from fans, explaining, "I didn't know we were supposed to do an hour, so I'm going to bore you a little longer." He invited another audience member onstage for an improvised number, but the audience reaction led him to abandon it a couple of minutes in and walk off. DJs State of Bengal and Luc Sante had opened the free show.

Tricky, now a New York resident, recently signed a new record deal with Californian proto-punk label Epitaph. It is not clear if an album mooted for autumn release will feature his spoken-word material or follow the more conventional dark Tricky sound of previous album 'Juxtapose'.

Tricky’s UK spokesperson is currently unavailable for comment.

a response from Mike:

that's the biggest bunch of Bullshit I've ever heard.  Tricky never stormed
off stage, when they were done w/ the first set, he walked off.  About 3 min.
later, people started booing because one of the directors announced that the
show was over.  A tricky chant started and he came back out, asked for the
beat box again, and some girl jumps on stage.  She's the one that ruined it
because she sounded sooo bad.  Tricky pulled her away from the mic a couple
of times, but trying to be nice about it.  It wasn't going anywhere so Tricky
just kinda left the stage.  When he came back on...he didn't say "so i'll
bore you somemore"  He said, "I didn't know I had to do an hour, so keeping
booing."  I thought it was great.  They asked him to do a spoken word thing,
and that's what he did.  I saw nothing wrong with it and thought we was
actually really cool about it.  The beat-box was amazing and it was just like
an improve show like you would see on the streets.


a review from Jess:

A ton of people, myself included, showed up anticipating an awesome performance. Instead, what we got was appalling and
disappointing. First of all, the show started an hour late-Tricky only showed up after some guy named Luc Sante had made the crowd very antsy and irritated by reading horrible poetry for an hour. Finally he came out with Dave Courtney and began spouting propaganda for his new album, Product of the Environment. The crowd became very anxious for a performance, so Tricky asked if anyone could do a beatbox. A very cool guy named Rick came on stage and rapped with Tricky for about ten minutes, after which Tricky plugged his album again and left the stage. The director of Summerstage came on and people began to boo and shout for Tricky to come back. After about five minutes he did, saying "I didn't know this was supposed to be an hour show." He got Rick (the beatbox) and some chick named Porcelana on stage to sing  with him, and the girl started wailing "Tricky ... we wanna hear Tricky ... we came to hear Trickyyyy..." and although she was completely serious, everyone started laughing because it was so pathetic. So Tricky rapped, with Porcelana trying desperately to sing backup, for another five minutes before ending the show. The crowd was in a state of disbelief, and people felt like  they had been ripped off. I heard many disconsolate fans vowing never to buy Tricky's records or go to his shows. I heard that a lot of people came from
Europe for this show- fortunately for me, all it cost me was a train ride.


another review:

When the crowd arrives the State of Bengal is playing his DJ set.  Everyone thinks this is okay, it's music, it's pretty good, and they probably think it's a warm-up for Tricky. It is, but there's someone else who comes on before Tricky, just like it states in the program.  It's the author Luc Sante (a great writer, who authored the book "Lowlife" and writes a lot of columns in the New York papers).  He was reading some selections about the inner city and gangsters, etc.  This was a good concept, since Tricky was covering similar territory with "Product of the Environment." The only problem was that no one cared to be standing or sitting around while Sante read his selections, because he read in a monotone and he has no onstage charisma. So the crowd started getting rowdy,  restless and mean. It was difficult for him, but he left the stage with some dignity at least.

Tricky and Courtney came out and they both had no idea what to do. Tricky asked Courtney to say a few things, and Courtney talked about his problems with the police in England. Because he's a gangster, the police have put him under a lot of surveillance there. Courtney related the stories to the audience and was very entertaining and people liked him, but I think Tricky understood that people wanted to hear and see Tricky. Tricky asked for a human beatbox from the audience. This guy come up from the audience and he was really good. So they were onstage about 18 mins. and then Tricky tells everyone to buy "Product of the Environment" so that he can send his daughter to college. That's it. Goodbye everybody!

The director of SummerStage came out and said that the State of  Bengal would play another set to make up for the abbreviated evening. The crowd started booing, so the MC said, "Hey if you guys want Tricky, I can't  make him come back.  You have to call for him." So everyone started chanting Tricky's name, and he came back out and made the comment about "I didn't know we were supposed to do an hour so I'm going to bore you some more." He did say that but not in a mean way, more like a joking kind of way.

He asked for the beatbox guy again and when he didn't see the guy come to the front, he asked for another beatbox person, but then the guy who was onstage earlier showed up. And so did this girl who couldn't sing. She said her name was Porcelana.  Would've been funnier if she wasn't so terrible. I almost think Tricky wanted to see how bad she could be, for his own amusement. And she was dreadful. She was moaning and "singing" very off-key but thinking she was sultry and sexy. Everyone started booing her or laughing.

Then someone in the crowd near me (who thought he was clever) shouted "Bullshit. Your shit is doody. Yo Tricky, get a bass." And of course, Tricky heard this and stopped everything. I couldn't hear what he said in the beginning, but he ended up calling the heckler "a fuckin' idiot." Then he thanked the beatbox kid and the awful girl for backing him up and left the stage.

If Tricky had any fans in the audience, he probably still has those fans, but he certainly didn't gain any new ones that night.

a review from THE VILLAGE VOICE:


Mum said you're known by the company you keep. Tricky hopes so, chumming around with the likes of Dave Courtney, spokesgangster, who once ran "security" for London kingpins Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Courtney's got a best-selling tell-all and a new business as, don't laugh, concert promoter. Using family ties—uncle Tony was in protection rackets—Tricky's taped oral histories of Courtney and other mob geezers for Product of the Environment. (Tony, for instance, describes getting his thumb bit off in a territory dispute.) Gareth Brown's put their stories to a funky trip-hop, heavy on the keys, setting up a disconnect between the exotic cinema sound and the chewy, monotone voices. His action-sequence rhythms make it awfully glamorous, that life—collecting debts, doing bank vans, jewelers—which most of the speakers, having done hard time, are heard swearing off.

So Tricky comes on SummerStage, and he brings up this Courtney: "I'm shitting me pants up here," but he digs up a tall tale about outwitting some coppers—fucking dim lot apparently. Finally Tricky cracks the joke: "This is the original gangster rap." Only he's not joking. And it's hardly rap. Keep it real, that's a pretty vague order: Always the baddies' lives that are real, innit, never the sad little shopkeepers' and van drivers'. ("It's not being a villain I find addictive," Courtney says on Product, "it's the lifestyle." Product of the environment?)

Rick, a beatbox in a football shirt, almost saved the day, answering Tricky's call for audience participation. A Queens boy is my bet, and talented, with a limited palette, but a loping, subtly improvising rhythm. And Rick had charm and personality, more than that lazy, stoned wet rag of a headliner, who performed exactly one piece and cried uncle. "Spoken word" my fat arse—that was no speaking, I call it muttering at best. "This is real life, no verses, no choruses." It's also real boring. We got real life in Brooklyn, Tricks. We came out for something a little more . . . artistic.

—David Krasnow

Read another review (sort of) at this page




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