Thursday, April 22, 2010

Portishead - Portishead


Oooh ... Portishead ... long afternoons with nothing to do but read.  Early mornings after loud nights out with intense chat and soul-searching the order of the day. Dummy was the soundtrack to some seriously good nights in and Portishead only more so.  That sound, that deep, trippy, grungy sound with Beth Gibbons' vocals trailing above like an angel with a serious migraine (YourZ sez: couldn't have said it better myself).  You know what I mean, she's sounding beautiful but only a short way away from turning on you and ripping your eyes out.

Why has it been so long since this got a spin on the CD player?  Because if pushed I'd probably automatically put on Dummy when reaching for one of their albums.  And I'd seriously forgotten how good, and how James Bond-y, All Mine is.  The creators of the new Bond franchise would do well to look at it for a future soundtrack.  Preferably one involving closeups of Daniel Craig's near-nude body.  Actually I've made a little collection of cool Bond-y type tunes.  The Propellerheads' On Her Majesty's Secret Service and OST's The Spy Who Dubbed Me also inclusion.  You listening, Sam Mendes?  Oh sorry, you don't even know if you're going to get to do this movie.  Here's hoping MGM gets its act together somehow.

But I digress.  Daniel Craig will do that to a girl.  Um, so this album is truly gorgeous, worthy of being in anyone's collection, and why don't we have Third?  Hmmmmm????



Portishead evoke such a mood with their music, it often reminds me of movies not yet made; sad, slow and beautiful stories of lost lovers, ghosts of better days and loss of innocence.  Their spare arrangements and use of repetitious rhythms and scratches literally defined trip hop.

After the release of Dummy and the attention it brought them, they retreated, regrouped and came back three years later with this genre-breaking self-titled second album.  It's a darkly-dressed production, rife with eerie theramins and spooky sounds that could very well have made listeners uncomfortable if it wasn't for the inherent beauty of Beth Gibbons' vocals.

It's been quite some time since I listened to Portishead and, like Mine, I found myself wondering why I hadn't heard this for so long.  It is the sort of 'coming-down' music I enjoy so much.  For that reason alone, I'm going to call it my first Forgotten Gem for April.


For more information go to

In our collection we also have Dummy


  1. Do you know, I'd almost forgotten about Portishead. I own both this and 'Dummy' yet haven't played them for yonks. I seem to recall that I found this a bit of a let down after 'Dummy' and that's probably why I went off the boil as far as P are concerned. Perhaps it's time to give them another go? I still have very fond memories of them doing a live version of 'Glory Box' on 'Later' (late night Jools Holland music show on BBC) many years ago which was just out of this world.

  2. MO, thankfully, we get Later... here too - got to be the best live music show around. I've seen the 'Glory Box' performance you speak of and it is brilliant.

    Have you heard any of their third album?


  3. I love everything Portishead ever did. It's like having sex with your ears. (I know, gross. But it's still true.)

  4. Braeden, know exactly what you mean. Good call!