Marmiteboy - Urbane Warrior.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Portishead - Hammersmith Apollo 10 April 2008


Just after Tronik Youth's marvellous remix of Joy Division's 'She's Lost Control' faded away (which to my ears seems to have influenced Portishead's new single 'Machine Gun')Portishead took to the stage. They haven't released an album since 1997's 'Portishead' so news of a tour and a third album 'Third', to be released at the end of the month, has revitalised the interest in the band. Portishead have always been hard to categorise. Indie kids (and Indie adults) love them and they are the dance crowds favourite chill-out band. Their music is dark, moody and atmospheric and uses samples and programming and Adrian Utley's amazing guitar work. However it has always been Beth Gibbons vocals that have given the band such a distinctive sound.

Right form the first few bars of the first song it was clear that Portishead were going to be special tonight and although a few technical problems with the dj's decks forced them to leave the stage for about five minutes after 'Mysterons' they delivered in spades. The new songs are noticeably harder than the moody trip-hop of 'Dummy'. Eighties style synth sounds and percussion have given them a more industrial sound. The overall mood is still dark though and Beth Gibbons pours out emotion in her vocals. She has an amazing ability to sound like several different singers in one song. At times she sounds like Billie Holiday and at one stage during an amazing rendition of 'Wandering Star' she sounded like Edith Piaf. The new material bodes well for the new album but it was the material that they played from 'Dummy' that got the crowd going. 'Roads', 'Glory Box' and 'Sour Times' along with the aforementioned 'Mysterons' (with added Mysteron lights Captain Scarlett fans) and 'Wandering Star' were perfect. The gig closed with Beth jumping down into the pit to hug, kiss and shake hands with the front rows of the stalls. She really seemed to be enjoying herself. It was a fantastic night and well worth waiting 13 years for.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Planet Mondo said...

Glad to hear they're still on form - did you ever check out Beth's album with Talk Talk's Paul Webb (a fellow Southender), well worth lending an ear too.

3:05 pm

 
Blogger Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Only another 12 years to go til the next time then :)

9:41 pm

 
Blogger marmiteboy said...

Mondo,

That was a fine album indeed. Paul goes under the name of Rustin Man now. I believe he went to your school didn't he.

Your Dameship,

I bloody hope not. I want to see 'em again soon.

8:02 am

 
Blogger Planet Mondo said...

He went to my school, threatened to shoot me with a harpoon (can't remember why) and told me this joke when I was 10

Q - What have Star Trek and toilet paper got in commmon?

A - They both get rid of Klingons.

I suggested "they both go where no mans been before" which sort of works..

Do you remember Simon Webb from Seevic - he was Paul's brother.

11:53 am

 
Blogger marmiteboy said...

I remember him well. I remember him dancing on somebodies shoulders down at Chester's one night.

6:18 pm

 

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