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Black Midi Share New Track Sugar/Tzu From Imminent Album 'Hellfire'

Tuesday, 12 July 2022 Written by Jon Stickler

Photo: Atiba Jefferson

Black Midi have shared a new track from their imminent album, 'Hellfire'.

Another chaotic fusion of rock and jazz, Sugar/Tzu marks the final advance single from the follow-up to 2021's 'Cavalcade', due out through Rough Trade this Friday (July 15).

It'll appear on the record along with the pair of singles they've already unveiled, Welcome To Hell and Eat Men Eat. Head below to view the accompanying Noel Paul-directed video, which centres around a futuristic boxing match. Guitarist and vocalist Geordie Greep commented:

"Sugar/Tzu imagines that in 2163 it’s possible to see a championship fight between two 600lb men. Albeit in a so-called Leadweight division. The fight is between Sun Sugar and Sun Tzu; the latter being a fan of the Chinese general, hoping to channel his strength; and the former looking to continue the lineage of Sugar Ray Robinson, Leonard etc.

"Present at their battle is a young boy who stands just over three feet tall. At ringside, he briefly exchanges a glance with Sun Sugar, who, in perhaps an attempt to inspire, comes over to the boy and shakes his hand. It is then revealed, as the contender walks back to the action, that the boy is in fact a killer. He takes a small pistol from his little jacket and shoots the man in the back, honour be damned. The boy believes this not to be a cruel act, but a virtuous one, with his interference giving the audience an ultimate, rare entertainment.

"As Sun Sugar hits the deck, the crowd cheer and scream, believing this only to be the result of a particularly vicious shot from Sun Tzu.

"There is a little joke here. It is regular for a boxing audience to bemoan an early stoppage, the official stepping in to save a fighter who could’ve gone on. And while there is the surface agreement of most that ‘it was the right thing to do,’ there seems to be often left unsaid the fact that we actually do want to see a brutal knockout. And in the split second where these one-shot, punch-perfect, coma-inducing blows do occur, there is an undeniable rush. The boy in this story feels he is a hero for giving the crowd what they all really want. This is not to say the song is a critique of boxing or anything of the like - I love the sport - but it is an interesting and rare phenomenon worth exploring."

The band are currently on the road playing UK and European festivals, and appear at the Somerset House Summer Series in London tomorrow (July 13), and End Of The Road festival in September.

They also have North American and European dates in the diary throughout the summer, before a run of new UK and European gigs in October and November. 

Black Midi Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows

Wed July 13 2022 - LONDON Somerset House
Fri October 28 2022 - LIVERPOOL Invisible Wind Factory
Sat October 29 2022 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE NX
Mon November 14 2022 - GLASGOW Old Fruitmarket
Wed November 16 2022 - BRISTOL SWX

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