Published by Reuters
Portishead is back on the road, and settling into life away from the studio.
But performing on stage doesn’t come easy for most of the reunited members of the British “trip-hop” act, who have just begun a European tour to promote their upcoming third album, the appropriately titled “Third.” It marks their first studio release since a self-titled effort in 1997.
“We’ve been immensely looking forward to touring. But we’re divided about it,” Portishead’s multi-instrumentalist founding member Adrian Utley tells Billboard.com.
“(Singer) Beth (Gibbons) is really nervous about playing live, and (instrumentalist) Geoff (Barrow) absolutely hates playing live, and I love playing live.”
It’s safe to say that none of the British trio’s core band members embrace the hedonistic rock’n’roll lifestyle which follow some road hogs like a bad smell.
“We don’t really do any ritual before a gig. It’s very unspectacular,” Utley admits. “Beth does a warm-up with her tape. A few gins are drunk, and there’s some strolling around nervously behind the stage. And that’s it. We go on.”
The tour kicked off Wednesday at Oporto Coliseum in Portugal, and will visit numerous venues across the continent and the United Kingdom, before heading stateside for an April 26 date at the Coachella festival in southern California.
“Third” arrives April 28 internationally via Island and the following day in the United States via Mercury. Fans can get a taste of things to come at the band’s MySpace page, which hosts a stream of the new track “Machine Gun.”
But don’t expect any singles releases this time around. “We’re not really doing any singles. We see it as a whole album,” Utley says. “‘Glory Box’ was a single, and it did go in the charts here. And I think ‘Sour Times’ did. But we’ve never seen ourselves as a particularly singles-oriented band. Especially now, it doesn’t seem relevant.”