Beak> Facebook | Getty Portishead's Geoff Barrow recently slammed the late…
- Posted on Sep 5th 2010 1:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
As on its self-titled debut, released last year, Beak> unleashed Saturday's skittering jams without the use of prerecorded music. Barrow spent most of the set behind the drums, where he dropped metronomic dance beats and sang words too drenched in echo to even attempt deciphering. Bassist Billy Fuller handled the melodies, such as there were any, and Matt Williams played scratchy guitar chords and mimicked the hum of power lines and crackle of failed radio transmissions with synths.
On 'Blagdon Lake,' Barrow moved from the drums to the keyboard, where he struggled at first to find the right synth setting.
"Does anyone know how to work one of these f------ things?" he asked, fiddling with the controls. He eventually figured it out, and once he'd found a throbbing sound that was to his liking, he laid pulsing chords atop Fuller's soothing, ascending bass line.
Later in the set, having been told he and his bandmates had only 10 minutes left, Barrow jokingly announced they would speed up and play three more songs. For plenty of other ATP artists, such a feat wouldn't have been impossible, but for Beak>, it's unthinkable. The band used its remaining time to wade through a single tune, a drowsy number with an abrupt ending. When the lights came on, it was both the end of a performance and a return to reality -- at least until the next band, F--- Buttons, came on and blew everyone's minds once more.