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introPalladium, Cologne, Germany
16th February 2016
Massive Attack & Young Fathers

Though it is still not sure if the band is working on a new album, alone the hint on Twitter raised a storm of enthusiasm. At least a tour in Germany was announced for February. And as a proof how important and appreciated this Bristol based band still is, the shows were quickly sold out. Likewise in the Palladium, Cologne, with a capacity of 4,000 guests. As supporting act the band invited YOUNG FATHERS, a trio from Edinburgh, to go on tour with MASSIVE ATTACK.


Young Fathers

This, in Edinburgh, Scotland, based trio was founded in 2008. Originally the band was named “Three Style” and with the first single ‘Straight back on it‘ of the its first album, the band gathered in 2009 already so much attention that it led to a couple of TV appearances on BBC Radio, as well as some festival appearances and performing as supporting act. At this time the guys changed the band’s name into Young FATHERS. In 2011 the band decided to work independently and released a mini album ‘Tape One‘ which was available as download version. Not long after that the second, in the same manner produced, album ‘Tape Two‘ followed. After signing for the Anticon label, the latter album was officially released in 2013. Meanwhile the band toured extendedly all over Europe and even had its US debut in Austin, Texas, and gathered a reputation of a fervidly live act. 2014 was surely a remarkable year for the YOUNG FATHERS a ‘Tape Two‘ won the “Scottish Album Of The Year” (The SAY Award) and for the album ‘Dead‘ the “Mercury Award”.

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With more than 140 shows the band toured busily in Europe, UK and the USA in that year. The second officially launched record ‘White Men Are Black Men Too’ was released 2015. This year, 2016, the guys are not only touring with MASSIVE ATTACK but also contributed to the ‘Ritual Spirit’ EP. Members are: Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and “G” Hastings. http://www.young-fathers.com / https://www.facebook.com/youngfathers

Music & Performance
Unfortunately due to the traffic hold up I haven’t had the chance to see this band. So I can only reproduce the feedback I got from friends. Supported by a drummer the trio convinced with an intense performance to be a good opening act of the evening. The music can be described as a mixture of Hip Hop, blended with some Pop and Electronica dominated by the percussion sound. Also the different vocal qualities of the three could be enjoyed very much underlined by the energetic playing of the drummer. Afterwards Alloysious, Kayus and “G” joined MASSIVE ATTACK for the songs they also worked on for the lately recorded ‘Ritual Spirit‘ EP.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 5
Total: 6.7 / 10

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Massive Attack

The Trip- Hop band from Bristol, UK, emerged from the artist collective THE WILD BUNCH alongside with musicians like TRICKY, SMITH & MIGHTY and the producer Nellee Hooper at the end of the eighties. With bands like PORTISHEAD, TRICKY, e.g., MASSIVE ATTACK was style-forming and influenced significantly the music scene with their Trip-Hop sound, also called the Bristol Sounds. Founding members were Robert ‚3D‘ Del Naja, Grantley “Daddy G” Marshall and Andrew “Mushroom” Vowles. In 1991, the debut album ‘Blue lines‘ was launched. Significant was the stylistic device of slow groovy beats, the use of samples of Jazz Rock and several guest singers. Because of the Golf war the band changed its name into MASSIVE but as it only led to confusion, the former name was re-established. MASSIVE ATTACK always showed up as a political band, making a stand against war. Though there was a change in style at the end of the nineties with the use of guitars, the sound was still remarkable sombre with slow beats. After the release of ‘Mezzanine‘ Andrew Vowles left the band as he couldn’t identify himself with change of style the band has made.

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In 2003 Grantley Marshall took a hiatus in order to have more time for his family but returned for the tour for the ‘10th Window‘. Though there are always some years where you don’t hear much of the band, it reappears suddenly with a new album or does several shows or small tours and delights the fans. With the just in January 2016 launched EP ‘Ritual spirit’, MASSIVE ATTACK has  released five studio albums, a compilation, two EPs and, a soundtrack album, six remix/ best of albums and 12 singles. http://www.massiveattack.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/massiveattack

Music & Performance
Due to a massive traffic hold up, I only arrived when the supporting act had already finished. As mentioned before the show was sold out and man, the place was crowded. Being only a short person and being too late to find a decent place in the venue, I actually couldn’t see anything what was going on on stage, only every now and then a short glimpse. Anyway, though this concert had more of an audio book, I enjoyed the music very much. The slow sound beats wrapped us up and already with the first song the audience was caught by the hypnotic singing of the guest singer Deborah Miller. The other female guest singer of the evening was Martina Topley-Bird. And of course there were a few more guest musicians and singers.

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Two drummers positioned on each side of the stage, two guitarists, two keyboards contributed to the fantastic life experience. With the dominant beats the audience was immediately animated to move and dance to the music. Each song was rewarded with a thunderous applause. As I just mentioned I could only grab a glimpse or two of the sumptuously video and light animation. I guess some people had the same problem which was really a shame as this band has always shown its social critical and political stand. Thus it is no wonder that the band picked up on the actual refugee situation, displaying corresponding videos and animations. Nevertheless one could enjoy the music very much and I have to say the quality of the live show ,including the vocal qualities, were just excellent. I had my heavy goose bumps moment when ‘Teardrop‘ was performed. So it was no wonder that the audience demanded loudly for encore when the main set was finished. And the vehement shouting was rewarded with two encores before the concert ended for good.

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Setlist
01. Battle box
02. United snakes
03. Risingson
04. Paradise circus
05. Ritual spirit
06. Girl I love you
07. Psyche
08. Future proof
09. Jupiter
10. Teardrop
11. Angel
12. Inertia creeps
13. Safe from harm
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14. Take it there
15. Voodoo in my blood
16. He needs me
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17. Unfinished sympathy
18. Splitting the atom

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 9
Total: 9.5 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)


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