By Steph Moore
Formed in 1991 in Bristol, Portishead released its first album, Dummy, in 1994, with it ushering in freedom of electronic experimentation in music ~ and basically creating an entirely new genre of music, trip-hop.
Dummy took home the Mercury Prize, the U.K.’s version of Canada’s Polaris Prize, and was certified gold in Britain three years after its initial release. Wildly popular with a huge number of music lovers but still a bit left of center for many ears, the band hovered between mainstream success and cult status for years, releasing only a self-titled EP in 1997 before disappearing from sight ~ and from the charts ~ completely. This disappearance left quite the void for the fans who had immediately fallen in love with Portishead, their sound, and the quirky members of the band ~ Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, and Adrian Utley.
Citing side projects, time with family, and simply “other things” as the reason for their time away from the stage, Portishead recently gave its fans the greatest gift possible ~ a North American tour.
Now, there are few bands in this world for whom many people would drive 6 hours, see the show, and then turn around and drive home again, all in the same night. Portishead is one of those bands for our concert photographer Frank Poulin, who ~ thanks to the great folks at Magnum, P.R. ~ was able to attend and photograph the October 7 Portishead show at Jacques Cartier Pier in Montreal, Canada. As Frank said before he embarked on this music-fueled road-trip, “It’s Portishead ~ and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, because who knows when they’re going to play live again. So, you drive.” And apparently the drive was absolutely worth it, because according to Frank, the band’s performance was phenomenal ~ it wasn’t just a show, it was an experience that he and the other 10,000 fans won’t ever forget.
So, in the spirit of “A picture is worth a thousand words,” here are some of the images Frank captured of Portishead playing outdoors in Montreal (special thanks to Magnum PR).