It’s been 14 years since The Roots set-up camp as the house band for US talk show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, a role that’s seen them play back-up band to, and collaborate with hundreds of artists. The latest in that long line is St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, who joined the band for a brilliantly faithful cover of Portishead’s 1994 trip-hop classic, Glory Box.
Clarke was on the show to promote her performance at the seventh annual Love Rocks NYC benefit concert, which took place on March 9th at New York’s Beacon Theatre.
The Love Rocks series of concerts is organised by charity, God’s Love We Deliver, and aims to provide support for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS.
After being introduced by Fallon, The Roots’ Questlove starts the song with a laser-precise buzz-roll on the snare before the band all seamlessly join in. His snare is cranked to the tension of a table top, while Clark effortlessly delivers a Gibbons-worth vocal, before aping the sound of Adrian Utley’s wah-pedalled solo with her Ernie Ball MusicMan signature model.
Glory Box was a breakthrough hit for Portishead, taken from 1994 debut, Dummy - which went on to bag the band the 1995 Mercury Music Award, and is one of the most critically-acclaimed albums of the 1990s.
It's largely build around a two-bar sample of Isaac Hayes’ Ike’s Rap II. The same song was also sampled by fellow Bristol artist, and sometime member of Massive Attack, Tricky for his song, Hell Is Round The Corner in 1995.
This year’s Love Rocks saw St Vincent join a star-studded line-up including James Taylor, the John Mayer Trio, Sheryl Crow, Warren Haynes, Gary Clarke Jr and many more.