Mark Hoepfl | Singapore, Singapore Singapore | 07/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just a great concert....nothing like it really and ANYONE will enjoy. Also the DVD has VERY little sound thru the center channel of the 5.1 dolby digital surround mix. I got this email from Fruit who manage Portishead, the DVD is OK...Dear Mark,Many thanks for your email regarding the Portishead DVD. Please find below
a report from Jon Underwood the Project Manager for the PNYC DVD. I hope
this helps you with the problem you're experiencing. Should you have any
other enquiries please don't hesitate to contact me.Many thanks for your continued support of Portishead.Kind regards
FRUiTReported problems with PORTISHEAD DVD - Response from Jon UnderwoodUSE OF CENTRE CHANNEL IN 5.1 SURROUND MIX FOR DVDWith movies the centre channel is generally reserved for dialog only.In most 5.1 speaker setups the centre speaker is one of least quality
(smallest dynamic range). It is designed to handle dialog but not much
more.When making a 5.1 mix for music there are no 'rules' for how the sound
is assigned to each of the 6 speakers.It is the engineers job to decide (with the musican) how best to do this.__________________________________________________________From talking to various engineers, general opinion seems to be that:If creating 5.1 from a multitrack master, the engineer may
choose to put some drums and vocal - centre channel.If creating 5.1 from an existing Stereo master, the engineer
may attempt to use EQ to isolate drums and vocal for a centre
channel.Use of the centre channel can spoil the stereo separation
(makes it sound mono)In the particular case of "Portishead Live at Roseland New York",
(for the reasons described above)
It was the decision of the Engineer and Adrian from the band
to minimise use of the centre channel.
The center speaker is used only for occassional bits of dialog
from the band members and audience.Jon Underwood - The Portishead DVD Project manager"
It's live Portishead, what more do you want?
Murray S Sim | Perth, Western Australia | 01/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
Portishead, live at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC. I'd consider this a "best of", as well as a live album, as it's the better tracks from both their self-titled and Dummy. There's a 17-piece violin group, trombones, violas, cellos, and a whole pile more instruments playing that gives it a very big sound. This was the first Portishead album I bought (on CD, in late 2001), and the rest of them sound... "weaker" by comparison. I didn't even know that there was a DVD of it until a few months ago, when Xenex told me that JB-HiFi had a pile of them in stock. ...The Portishead one seems a lot less distant, with the cameras wandering though the performers while they play, cutting to closeups of the crowd, but at the loss of a "professional" feel. The video is somewhat grainy, but I don't think it would feel right with crystal-clear imagery. The spaces between tracks are filled with colour washed footage of New York, and there's even an improv hip hop piece about halfway through the set list. If you're a Portishead fan, you'll want this (or you already have it). If you're thinking about buying a Portishead album, this is probably the best one to get.And hey, it's worth the price just to see Beth sneeze champagne while trying to drink and laugh at the same time. 1. humming The violins set up a nice theremin-esque sound at the start of this one, with John Baggot providing backing on the keyboards. Geoff Barrow seems to set off the main part of the song with his decks, but you can't see any of the guitarists in the shot, so I'm not sure. 2. cowboys Synth, guitars (with the chorus pedal firmly pressed) down, and Geoff doing some background scratching. Beth's vocals are radically different than in the last song, managing to sound anguished without being over-done. 3. all mine Baritone/alto saxophones, trombone, and two trumpets give it a "big band" feel. Beth's vocals, are, as always, excellent. 4. half day closing Bass guitar intro, with violins just on the edge of hearing (honestly, you wouldn't know if the camera wasn't pointed at them). The vocals are fed through some sort of weird reverb/compression filter, giving them a metallic edge. 5. over Starts off with just Beth and Adrian on acoustic guitar, before Clive Dreamer starts drumming. Geoff picks up later on with some scratching, and the keyboards kick in. 6. only you Heavy, plodding bass guitar to start, with Geoff's scratching starting off the other instruments. Beth spends the entire song singing with a lit cigarette in her hand. 7. seven months Nice violins at the beginning, with a sort of funky guitar. The vocals seem to be fed through the same filter used on Half Day Closing. Excellent distorted guitar work near the end from Adrian. 8. numb Quick fly-through of the stage, before cutting to footage of the equipment being placed. This track doesn't seem to have been an actual concert one, as the band are mostly focused on individually ... and you can't see an audience. Jumps to piano/double bass bit and some hip hop at the end. 9. undenied Some backstage footage here, descriptions of the audio setup, before moving on to concentrate on the performers. Somewhat, anyway. There's some grainy footage of some New York streets thrown in, too. 10. mysterons The annoying "ticking" drum beat on the album version, while still present, doesn't sit in the foreground and distract you from the rest of the song. There doesn't appear to be a theremin lurking anywhere on stage, so I'm guessing that the creepy alien noises were done with a combination of violins and some samples scratched by Geoff. 11. sour times A fast, upbeat, almost jazzy version of the track. I prefer this one to the album version. Both Geoff and Clive play drums on this (with an excellent solo at the end), while Andy Smith (their other DJ) does the turntable work. 12. elysium Geoff jumps back on the decks, Beth picks up a guitar, and they start playing again. The closeups of Beth's vocals look so serious until you notice Adrian chewing gum in the background with a huge smile on his face. 13. glory box Nice and mellow; the crowd seems to love this one. Beth's vocals are less extreme than on the album version, which seems to work better. 14. roads Initially feels quite sad, but picks up at the end. 15. strangers The band really get into this one, and the crowd is up and bouncing around. A great song to "finish" with. Lots of nice footage of the crowd, and a few words from Beth right a the end. 16. western eyes Run backstage to have a beer and a smoke, then break out the champagne and hit the trombonist to up for a quick solo. The song starts playing just as the credits roll. Beth Gibbons: vocals, guitar - Geoff Barrow: decks, drums - Adrian Utley: moog, guitar, kabassa - John Baggot: keyboards, piano - Jim Barr: bass, double bass - Clive Dreamer: drums, percussion - Andy Smith: decks - and others. ... * road trip Looks like they put a camera on a motorbike and rode it around for a bit, fading to a new scene when the old one got boring. The music is a very, very scratched-out instrumental version of Only You, and it gets annoying very, very quickly. As much as I like scratching, I can't stand five minutes of the same thirty seconds played over and over again. * wandering star Concert footage from their 1995 Seattle show mixed with stuff from inside a tour bus and some shots of buildings. Kinda cool. * to kill a dead man I can't really say much about this one without spoiling it... Basically, it's a spy movie about an assassination, and what happens afterwards, starring some of the people from Portishead (mostly Beth and Adrian). The song is called, funnily enough, 'theme from "to kill a dead man" '. The video clips
I've only watched these once each, and only because I've never seen them on TV. They just seem more like filler material than anything else."
J. Luckman | Washington | 07/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have quickly gotten into Portishead in the past week, buying their two studio albums, this DVD and also the CD that was put out with 11 of the 15 tracks from the DVD. I watched this DVD last night and it was absolutely mind-blowing. It made me want to vomit it was so good. I can't believe I didn't know of Portishead before. While I watched it (and then the extras also), I couldn't believe that a band could be so good, so cool, so dark. There's not one happy song and every song is darker than black and just DIRTY. No modern band can touch this music. This DVD is insanely good. A must for anyone who knows good music."
A night in the life of Portishead...
J. Luckman | 01/19/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Portishead certainly know how to entertain their legions of eccentric fans. Instead of playing a "normal" concert at a typical venue, they instead took a nod from Miles Davis, and gave a more creative show to a sold out crowd at New York City's Roseland Theatre. This video show cases the entire performance, along with a short (approx. 10 min) home movie entitled "Road Trip". While the visuals may get a bit bland, the DJ Andy Smith mix definitly makes it a must see. The concert (15 songs) is a very interesting twist from Portishead's albums, being that instead of using mostly samples and loops (aside from keyboards and turntables), they have a full orchestra behind them, along with the common bass / drum / guitar arrangements. Adrian Utley (turntables) gives a captivating performance, with plenty of different scratching techniques which seem to get covered up on many of their album tracks. Songs such as "All Mine", "Only You", and "Over" shimmer mysteriously with a sophisticated elegance, and the newly reworked "Sour Times (nobody loves me)" has a much more dark, typical PH feel to it now. The only disappointment I can see on this video is the misleading track listing for "Western Eyes". This isn't a concert version of the song, but simply the track from the PH CD included as exit music. Over all, this video is a must-have for any and all PH fans, musicians, or for people who just aren't impressed by the same ol' thing."
An amazing insight into Portishead
roxy054 | Edmonton, AB, CA | 09/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Living where finding singles is hell, P:NYC has kept me totally satisfied for as long as i've had it. Although the five minute intro of what looks like a camera in the tour van driving around is boring, they finally arrive at Roseland and IT IS BEAUTIFUL, from the first second. Seeing the orchestra and the turntables all going at once, and then Beth and her like no other voice, is an experience you want to have on tape. It lets you see what makes the hundreds of original Portishead sounds in each song and gives you a perspective on Beth that you wouldn't pick up from the CDs. The concert was a fabulous representation of their talents. It is completely worth the buy, and is a long performance that I wish I had the opportunity to see. DON'T DENY YOURSELF SOMETHING THIS GOOD!"