Unfortunately, the Uncut Arena is running late, so we only manage to see a sliver of Tricky‘s set before we have to dash off to see some other acts – we can definitely confirm it was pretty bonkers, as you’d expect from trip-hop’s most eccentric talent.
He begins with an instrumental version of Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ which, with its buzzy synth-bass, clattering percussion and pummelling backbeat, sounds somewhat like Nine Inch Nails.
Next up is a typically trip-hop number with tinkling cocktail-bar piano and menacing backing vocalists, followed by a deathly slow song featuring sparse drum hits and grainy synth chords.
A pretty heavy, doomy set, then, but we’re forced to rush over to the main stage to catch some of Phoenix.
The French fashionistas are first and foremost a party band and it suits this evening perfectly – the sun’s come out and the rain seems to have stopped for good.
Pushing their synths, drum loops and keyboards to the background, the group, led by Thomas Mars, pin much more of their sound tonight on fuzz bass and taut, sharp guitars. Along with their preppy, elegant sartortial style, you could almost be watching a parallel-universe Strokes.
‘Lisztomania’, the opener on their new album ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’, kicks off the set, before they break into older, and no less infectious, material like ‘Run’.
It’s all a bit of a glorious sugar rush – you may not take away much to dwell on from Phoenix’s set, but you’ll know you had a damn good time.