We're roughly halfway through Massive Attack's 2016 tour, which has just finished its UK leg before hitting the rest of Europe, so its about time for a news update post covering all that's been going on in the last couple of weeks.
Number one on the agenda is 3D's new artwork exhibit named after the new EP "Ritual Spirit", which opened this week in Lazarides studio gallery in London. 3D previously hosted his art with Lazarides for his "Fire Sale" exhibit in May 2013. The opening of the Ritual Spirit exhibit was on Tuesday night and will run as a free admission until 5th March.
The Lazarides opening was also the only place to buy a new limited edition screen printed version of the Ritual Spirit EP on vinyl, which 3D has been teasing on his Instagram since December. Unfortunately the 200 copies on sale (for £30) were apparently all soldout at the private screening on Tuesday night. Its a bit of bum deal for fans and collectors who couldn't be there in person (as there was no online sale), but there will be a second opportunity to buy the remaining 100 copies when they go on sale at The Store gallery in Berlin on the 17th February, the same date Massive Attack are in town for a gig that night.
Besides the limited edition release spoken about, the Ritual Spirit EP vinyl is also being released in a far less limited version online through the Massive Attack official store. This release priced at £20 can be bought online here.
Embedded below are photos taken at the private opening of 3D's Ritual Spirit exhibit on Tuesday. Click on them to enlarge. Thank you for the photos goes out to Steve and Txjaxx.
In conjunction for the exhibit, 3D did a quick interview for LeCool London magazine. While the interview is mostly about the exhibit and the tour, he does mention the next Massive Attack album.
This quote is noteworthy to mention as the official press release for Ritual Spirit stated that there would be a new album this year, but this quote from 3D seems to throw that into doubt. So it maybe wise to temper expectations for a new Massive Attack album this year.
So anyway back to the tour, the setlist has changed somewhat since the first dates in Dublin. The track "He Needs Me", with Young Fathers which first appeared in this online video in December is been played now as part of the encore. And in welcome news, Deborah Miller (Shara Nelson's live substitute) has returned to the tour at the Brixton shows in London after missing the first part of the tour, so that means Safe From Harm and Unfinished Sympathy are back on the setlist, after many fans complained about their absence at the beginning of the tour. Hopefully Deborah will stick around for the remainder of the tour.
A bootleg from the tour in Manchester is also online to listen to on Soundcloud so you can judge for yourself how all the new material sounds live.
In other touring news, a new live date for Massive Attack has just been announced in Croatia for a festival known as "Dimensions" this August. This is probably a big hint that Massive Attack intend to add further dates to their 2016 schedule, most likely a string of festival shows, which this Croatian one is the first of.
Finally, 3D has done a video interview (first TV interview since 2008) with Channel 4 News. In the interview embedded below, he is accompanied by Giles Duley, a photojournalist who has helped raise the plight of Syrian refugees attempting to come into Europe. His photos of these events form an integral part of Massive Attack's new live show, so the interview is mainly focused on that, with a little bit at the end about the new Tricky collaboration Take It There.