I’ve just got home after seeing Portishead play at the Wolves Civic. To cut a long story short, it was quite simply one of the best gigs I’ve been to… if not the best ever: unsurprising for a band who haven’t done a tour of any kind for 11 years and have only played a handful of gigs in the last few years (as in one hand is enough to count them).
There was a good balance between new and old material, and considering that the new album (Third) is very different to their previous two albums, it still worked, even if it is perhaps a more mainstream sound (certainly within the Trip-Hop genre, Smoke City come to mind).
A slight disappointment was Wandering Star, certainly more emotional than the album version but the stripped down live version didn’t work for me. And I struggle to forgive the band not playing Strangers, my favourite track. But Cowboys (one of the few tracks from the 2nd album played), Glory Box, Numb, Roads and Sour Times more than made up for that, completely different live and simply astounding music to listen to.
Overall though it was nothing short of special and a band that I’d recommend to anyone if you get the chance to see them live… though I advise a few drinks before they take to the stage (at least enough to make you tipsy!).
Hopefully we won’t have to wait quite as long for the forth album!