Tony Crean & Mark McNulty Recall Portishead’s Debut US Tour
Following the Portishead Essential mix posted the other day I remembered that it was originally released at the time of the band’s debut US tour which I was doing press on, so asked good friend & photographer Mark McNulty who was covering the dates for his memories from 25 years ago…
“I flew out to Toronto on 25th April and got there just in time for the gig. Jetlag was kicking in but I remember some of Spiritualized came down to the show. Day 2 was Pontiac, on the outskirts of Detroit. Jetlag was wearing off and I’ve got very vivid memories of just how good Andy Smith’s DJ set was ahead of the show. The following morning, we flew to Boston and had a day off. We were staying out by Harvard so I wondered around the University but I had to cover up my t-shirt because people were horrified at the Herb Garden magazine logo ‘Yoof Culture for the Narcotically Challenged’. In the evening we all went out for dinner and then went to see a hard rock band called The Upper Crust who wore powdered wigs and had a singer called Lord Bendover. Day 3 was gig day and a brilliant show at Avalon, Boston. I also did a portrait shoot with the band outside of the venue as I was documenting the tour for Q Magazine. After the show, it was tools down and way too much drinking followed. It was also the first time I’ve ever seen bar tenders working a room selling shots and the novelty of it got the better of us. The following morning we flew to New York for a gig at the Supper Club. I wasn’t actually at the gig, as I flew back to the UK the same night but we made the best of the worst hangover ever and managed to take in Central Park Zoo, Strawberry Fields, the Dakota, Times Square and more. Good times if a little hazy…”
I can only add that as well being a cracking bunch of people to work with, those early Portishead gigs were some of the most intense & exciting live music I’ve seen, taut with pure beat & blues knife-edge energy which still send a shiver across a quarter of a century…
And that Goodwin the red panda in Central Park Zoo is still the best hangover cure ever.
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Thank You Sea Change!
We had a blast over the weekend in virtual-Totnes for the online edition of Sea Change Festival. We felt a real togetherness and energy that we feared would be sorely lost behind screens and wi-fi transmissions. Big props to Rupert and everyone behind the scenes for really pulling together and making the most of a dire situation.
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Dan McEvoy’s Recommendation of the Day
Sonny Barrett told me that I’d like this and he was right! Aerial M has gone under different aliases and played in quite alot of bands. A very cool fella.
[Drag City reissued this a few years ago and it looks like Norman Records still have copies left. David Pajo forever – Sonny]