IN the late 1960s, when Miles Davis was at his most innovative, a confused Columbia Records branded his new sound Directions In Music.

It's a label which may equally apply to Tricky.

Since the release of his debut, Maxinquaye, in 1995, Tricky has decidedly ploughed his own furrow, creating a new musical landscape that has not exactly been kind to his profile.

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Tricky in 2001 lies somewhere between early-1980s Human League and modern day Nu-Metal, swathes of almost elementary sythesizers competing with speed-guitar heroics, creating a sound that is once devastating but bewildering in its ambition.

Seeing Tricky live is never a comfortable experience, and on Saturday night he created an unease only heightened by the fact that he borrowed another Miles-ism by singing for most of the show with his back

to us.

On stage he remains a threatening prospect, his boxer's physique raging like a man possessed.

Much of the set consisted of material from his recent Blowback album which owes more than a passing knowledge to the current sound of young America. Surprising, then, that the audience was made up mostly of the trip-hop generation.

Tricky largely has left the genre he created behind but, inevitably, it was the older tracks - Overcome, Black Steel - which received the warmest cheer, with his latest muse, Nicky Love, ably handling vocals.

In a final act of audience alienation he demanded that the house lights

be switched on for the last number, leaving the bewildered audience looking, well, bewildered. And then he was gone, foregoing the formality of an encore.

But in what was ultimately an angry, edgy, and somewhat psychotic performance, no-one really seemed in a position to complain.