Named after the nearby town of the same name, Portishead released their first album, Dummy, in 1994 to critically acclaim and earned the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Appealing to electronic dance and alternative rock fans across the globe, the band continued to impress with the release of their self-titled album in 1997, which spawned the hit singles “All Mine”, Over” and “Only You”. In 2008, a decade after their last album, Portishead returned with Third. This year seems Portishead re-emerge with live performances at festivals across Europe, the US and Mexico.

Portishead are an English musical group formed in 1991 in Bristol. The band is named after the nearby town of the same name – 13 km west of Bristol. Portishead consists of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, and Adrian Utley, while sometimes citing a fourth member, Dave McDonald, an engineer on Dummy and Portishead.

DUMMY 1994
Portishead’s first album Dummy was released in 1994. The credits of Dummy indicate that at this juncture, Portishead was a duo of Geoff Barrow and Beth Gibbons. Adrian Utley, who co-produced the album with Portishead (and who played on 9 of the tracks and co-wrote 8), became an official band member shortly after the album’s release. Despite the band’s aversion to press coverage, the album was successful in both Europe and the United States (where it sold more than 150,000 copies even before the band toured there). Dummy spawned three singles: “Numb”, “Sour Times”, “Glory Box”, and won the Mercury Music Prize in 1995. In 2003, the album was ranked number 419 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album cover features a still from the band’s own short film To Kill a Dead Man.

After their initial success, Portishead withdrew from the spotlight for three years until their self-titled second album, Portishead, was released in 1997. The album’s sound differed from Dummy, characterised as “grainy and harsher. Three singles, “All Mine”, “Over” and “Only You” were released, the first one achieving a Top 10 placing in the UK. In 1997, the band performed a one-off show with strings by the New York Philharmonic orchestra at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. A live album primarily featuring these new orchestral arrangements of the group’s songs was released in 1998. There was also a long-form VHS video of the performance, and a DVD followed in 2002, with substantial extra material including many early music videos.

HIATUS (1999 – 2005)
In 1999, Portishead recorded the song “Motherless Child” with Tom Jones for his album Reload. For the next few years, the band members concentrated on solo and other pursuits. In February 2005, the band appeared live for the first time in seven years at the Tsunami Benefit Concert in Bristol. Around that time, Barrow revealed that the band was in the process of writing its third album. In August 2006, the band posted two new tracks on its MySpace page (called “Key Bored 299 03” and “Greek Jam”), described by Barrow as “doodles”. Around the same time, Portishead covered Serge Gainsbourg’s “Un Jour Comme un Autre (Requiem for Anna)” on the tribute album Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited.

THIRD (2008)
On 2 October 2007, Portishead stated that the new album Third had been mixed and was nearly complete, and was due for release in early April 2008. The release was later pushed to 28 April. On 8 and 9 December 2007, the band curated the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Minehead, England. The festival featured their first full live sets in nearly 10 years. They premiered five tracks from the new album: “Silence”, “Hunter”, “The Rip”, “We Carry On”, and “Machine Gun”. (“Machine Gun” was featured in the 2011 E3 teaser of Metro: Last Light) On 21 January 2008, a European tour to support the album was announced, together with a headline spot at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on 26 April 2008, their only U.S. date on the tour.

Third was made available on Last.fm the week before release, attracting 327,000 listeners in just under 24 hours. It was the first time Last.fm had made an album available before its official release date. The album was released on 29 April 2008 to coincide with the band’s appearance at Coachella. On 29 May 2008, Portishead’s Geoff Barrow realised a “boyhood fantasy” when Chuck D of Public Enemy joined the band onstage at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona. He contributed a freestyle rap over Portishead’s single “Machine Gun”.

On 18 May 2008, Barrow expressed Portishead’s enthusiasm for recording new material on their official website’s blog, stating that he “can’t wait to write some new tunes”. On 28 September 2009, Barrow announced “big plans” for a new project with a new angle, hinting that an album could arrive as soon as late 2010. Whilst the album is yet to materialise, on 9 December 2009, the band released the song “Chase the Tear” for Human Rights Day to raise money for Amnesty International UK. Additionally, on 3 December 2008, Universal Music Japan reissued the albums Dummy and Portishead in limited edition on SHM-CD.

During Summer 2011, Portishead performed at a number of festivals in Europe. On 9 July 2011 Portishead performed at the main stage of Pohoda Festival, Trencin, Slovakia, in front of 20,000 fans. At the end of the concert, Beth Gibbons got down from the stage to shake hands with the first lines of the audience. She also apologized for it taking her 20 years to play in Slovakia. On 10 July 2011 Portishead performed at the main stage of Exit Festival, Novi Sad, Serbia, in front of more than 20,000 fans. At the end of the concert, Beth Gibbons also got down from the stage to shake hands with the first lines of the audience. Portishead were also scheduled to perform at the 2011 Benicàssim Festival, Rock Werchter in Belgium, Pohoda Festival in Slovakia, Paleo Festival in Switzerland, Roskilde Festival in Denmark, and the Super Bock Super Rock music festival in Portugal.

In 2011 the band headlined and curated the line-up for two All Tomorrow’s Parties music festivals entitled I’ll Be Your Mirror. The first took place in London at Alexandra Palace on the 23 and 24 July and the second will take place in Asbury Park, New Jersey from the 30 September – 2 October. The band also announced on 11 July 2011 their plans to headline their first full North American tour in over a decade. Though the tour is small, Portishead will be visiting New York, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Seattle, Vancouver, and Denver during October. On October 15, they will be performing in Mexico’s “Corona Capital Fest” alongside The Strokes and many other bands. Finally, in November 2011, the band will be returning to Australia to headline The Harvest Festival alongside The National and Mercury Rev. While there, they will also play in New Zealand, on November 10, at Vector Arena.

Monday, October 24th, 2011
Doors: 7:00PM Show: 8:00PM
Tickets for Portishead are priced at $55 (plus service charges and fees) and are available at Highlife, Red Cat Records, all Ticketmaster Outlets and Rogers Wireless Box Office

via popyoularity, wiki