PNYC captures Bristol, England's Portishead live, a situation which presents a particular challenge to a band so closely associated with studio experimentation. Portishead's sound, however, is built around the otherworldly vocals of Beth Gibbons, who immediately dispels any notion that such a performance needs to have anything canned about it. The spontaneity is helped along by a stunning palette of guitars, which combine with the the band's imaginative turntable work to create a thrilling, bombastic and unpredictable live experience.
PNYC opens up with the swell of a string section, and quickly dissolves into the menacing, orchestrated strains of "Humming," over which Gibbons gives a stirring vocal performance, every bit as spontaneous as the rhythmic scratching which weaves in and out of the song's organ-based backdrop. "Over" features a particularly seductive voice-guitar intro, which mutates into an epic, gargantuan bass-synth groove. Guitar textures are, in fact, a prominent feature throughout PNYC, notably on the rocked-up, tremolo-soaked six-string that dominates the live version of the band's signature tune, "Sour Times."
Portishead: Beth Gibbons (vocals); Adrian Utley (guitar, Moog synthesizer); Geoff Barrow (drums, DJ).
Recorded live at Roseland Ballroom, New York, New York on July 24, 1997; The Quart Festival, Kristiansand, Denmark on July 3, 1998; The Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, California on April 1, 1998.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Rock
- Label: Go! Beat
|Half Day Closing|
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Meta Artist: Portishead