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Concerts

Elizabeth Fraser Performs “Song to the Siren” with Massive Attack for the First Time Ever

In a long-awaited return to the stage, Massive Attack delivered their first concert in five years tonight with a spellbinding surprise: Elizabeth Fraser’s haunting rendition of Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren.” The show at Gothenburg Film Studios in Sweden featured special guests Young Fathers and Horace Andy, but it was Fraser’s ethereal vocals on this surprise cover that stole the spotlight. Last performed live by Fraser in 2012, the track added an emotional depth to an already highly anticipated night.

Elizabeth Fraser and Massive Attack first joined forces in 1998 for the landmark third studio album, Mezzanine. Fraser’s haunting vocals elevate several tracks, most notably the entrancing single “Teardrop.” The synergy between the former Cocteau Twins singer and the Bristol-based electronic outfit results in an unforgettable fusion of her ethereal voice with Massive Attack’s dark, atmospheric sound. Fraser’s contributions to Mezzanine and her live performances of these tracks over the years have cemented their collaboration as iconic within the trip-hop genre.

Tonight, Massive Attack returned to the stage for the first time since their 2019 back-to-back shows at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall. The event, held at Gothenburg Film Studios in Sweden, marked the band’s first performance since the passing of guitarist Angelo Bruschini.

The evening’s setlist included Fraser-led tracks such as “Black Milk” and “Teardrop,” with visual accompaniments by frequent collaborator and filmmaker Adam Curtis, adding a deeper layer to the performance. Horace Andy’s presence brought life to “Hymn of the Big Wheel” and “Angel,” while Young Fathers energized the crowd with “Voodoo in My Blood.” Longtime live member Deborah Miller joined to deliver powerful renditions of Blue Lines‘ “Unfinished Sympathy” and “Safe From Harm,” Before “Safe from Harm,” 3D (Robert Del Naja) declared, “Traditionally this is a song of protest, tonight it is a song of solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

The third song performed in the set was the debut performance of Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren” with Massive Attack. Elizabeth Fraser had previously only performed this song live with the Cocteau Twins and solo at the Anohni-curated Meltdown in 2012 at the Southbank Centre in London, which was the last time she sang it live. In 1983, her ethereal voice immortalized “Song to the Siren” with This Mortal Coil with a single release and inclusion on the project’s first album, It’ll End in Tears, in 1984. Years later, she found a kindred spirit—and tumultuous romance—in Jeff, Tim’s son, whose own haunting melodies echoed his father’s.

Watch a clip of the performance via Brooklyn Vegan.

Setlist:

  1. – “Girl I Love You” (with Horace Andy)
  2. – “Future Proof”
  3. – “Song To The Siren” (with Elisabeth Fraser) (Tim Buckley cover)
  4. – “Hymn Of The Big Wheel” (with Horace Andy)
  5. – “Black Milk” (with Elizabeth Fraser)
  6. – “Inertia Creeps”
  7. – “ROckwrok” (Ultravox cover)
  8. – “Angel” (with Horace Andy)
  9. – “Safe From Harm”
  10. – “Unfinished Sympathy”
  11. – “Karmacoma”
  12. – “Teardrop” (with Elizabeth Fraser)
  13. – “(Intro) Levels” (Avicii cover)
  14. – “Risingson”

Massive Attack 2024 Tour Dates:

  • June 13, 2024: Oslo, Norway – Piknik i Parken
  • June 15, 2024: Stockholm, Sweden – Rosendal Garden Party
  • June 27, 2024: Tilburg, Netherlands – Spoorpark Tilburg
  • July 7, 2024: Hérouville-Saint-Clair, France – Chateau De Beauregard
  • July 13, 2024: Mantova, Italy – Piazza Sordello di Mantova
  • July 15, 2024: Montreux, Switzerland – Montreux Jazz Festival
  • July 20, 2024: Bontida, Romania – EC10
  • July 23, 2024: İstanbul, Turkey – Parkorman
  • August 10, 2024: Lokeren, Belgium – Lokerse Feesten
  • August 21, 2024: Saint-Cloud, France – Rock En Seine
  • August 24, 2024: Saint-Cloud, France – Rock en Seine
  • August 24, 2024: Saint Cloud, Mauritius – Domaine de Saint-Cloud
  • August 25, 2024: Bristol, United Kingdom – Clifton Downs
  • August 29, 2024: Lisbon, Portugal – MEO Kalorama
  • September 2, 2024: Torino, Italy – TODAYS Festival
Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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