Ilosaarirock Festival 11th – 13th July 2014  \\  Joensuu  \\  Finland  \\  ilosaarirock  \\  @ilosaarirock

Portishead (UK)


This is, to say the least, what we all have been waiting for. Portishead, the perfect band that has only ever released three albums during its career that spans more than twenty years, is an object of worship and fierce dedication for music fans. Their songs are influenced more by Ennio Morricone than by any traditional authorities of electronic music, and in the world of endless trivialities about B list celebrities, they have managed to retain an aura of mystery that makes them almost scary. They hardly ever give interviews, their live performances tend to be few and far between, and they are notoriously selective when it comes to new releases. Their three official albums contain no more than 33 songs, which is a very small number for an act with such a long and highly acclaimed career. But that handful of songs is a handful of ingenuity in its purest form.

Through their albums and live performances, Portishead create a world of its own, simultaneously devout and desperate. Album by album, their expression has grown deeper and darker: to give one example, the single Machine Gun from their – can you say that? – comeback album Third consists almost entirely of a sample of the shot of an automatic gun and Beth Gibbons's voice. And what a voice it is. Surely, if you look up the dictionary definition of the word haunting, you'll find Beth Gibbons's picture there.

Portishead's three albums contain all the right elements in just the right order, and the same applies to their live performances. Every nuance, every background projection is the result of almost perfectionist consideration, and the atmosphere that follows is nothing less than religious. Portishead's first appearance in Finland will be an experience to die for. The wait is finally over.

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