Portico Quartet

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Portico Quartet
The Portico Quartet playing at Cully Jazz Festival 2011.
Portico Quartet playing at Cully Jazz Festival 2011. Clockwise from top left: Duncan Bellamy (drums), Nick Mulvey (Hang), Jack Wyllie (saxophone) and Milo Fitzpatrick (contrabass)
Background information
Origin London, UK
Years active 2005 to present
Website porticoquartet.com
Members Duncan Bellamy
Milo Fitzpatrick
Jack Wyllie
Past members Nick Mulvey (original member)
Keir Vine

Portico Quartet are a band from London. Their sound is made partially distinctive by the use of the Hang, a 21st-century percussion instrument. The group is composed of Jack Wyllie (soprano and tenor saxophone), Duncan Bellamy (drums), Milo Fitzpatrick (double bass), and Keir Vine (Hang and percussion). Vine replaced Nick Mulvey, who left in early 2011 to pursue his career as a singer-songwriter. Vine then left the group on 1 August 2014.

After nearly two years of playing mainly small gigs and busking regularly outside the National Theatre in London, they signed to Babel Label in 2007. Their first album, Knee-deep in the North Sea, was released on 5 November 2007.[1]

They are now signed to Real World Records. The name portico comes from when one of their gigs was rained off in Italy, and they ended up playing under a portico.[2]

Their third, most recent, eponymously titled album was released on January 30, 2012.

As of September 2014, after Vine left the group, the band has since placed their website in redevelopment and changed the name of their official Facebook page to Portico which indicates that they intend to drop the word 'Quartet' from their name.


Knee-deep In The North Sea

The band's debut album Knee-deep in the North Sea was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize.[3] The week after the awards show it debuted on the UK Top 200 Albums Chart at #186.[4] It was Time Out's best jazz album of 2007. It was re-released by Real World Records on 31 January 2011. The album has been remixed by John Leckie and was the first time sold on vinyl and as deluxe edition with three extra (live) tracks on CD.


Recorded and Mixed at Livingston Studios, London on 7, 8, 9 February and 6, 7, 8 August 2007
Produced by Portico Quartet
Co-Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Sonny.
Assisted by Kevin James Feazey and Simone Filiali
Mastered by Andrew Tulloch at The Blue Studio, London
Executive Producers Oliver Weindling and Will Gresford
Design, Artwork and collages by Duncan Bellamy
Photograph by Matt Crossick

Track listing

All tracks composed, arranged and performed by Portico Quartet.

  1. "News From Verona" – 4:24
  2. "(Something's Going Down on) Zavodovski Island" – 4:22
  3. "Knee-Deep In The North Sea" – 4:52
  4. "Too Many Cooks" – 5:32
  5. "Steps In The Wrong Direction" – 6:09
  6. "Monsoon: Top To Bottom" – 4:14
  7. "The Kon Tiki Expedition" – 4:29
  8. "Cittàgazze" – 4:47
  9. "Pompidou" – 3:08

(Hidden Track: "Prickly Pear" - 5:47)


The band's second album Isla was released by Real World Records on 9 October 2009.


Recorded at Abbey Road Studios and Fish Factory Studios, May 2009
Produced by John Leckie, assisted by Chris Bolster at Abbey and Desmond Lambert at Fish Factory
Mixed by John Leckie and Portico Quartet
except Shed Song (Improv. 1), recorded at the end of our garden, 20.01.09
Mixed at Real World Studios, assisted by Robin Baynton
Mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Studios
Painting, artwork and design by Duncan Bellamy

Track listing

All tracks composed, arranged and performed by Portico Quartet.

  1. "Paper Scissors Stone" – 5:27
  2. "The Visitor" – 5:31
  3. "Dawn Patrol" – 6:00
  4. "Line" – 7:30
  5. "Life Mask (Interlude)" – 1:16
  6. "Clipper" – 6:31
  7. "Life Mask" – 7:17
  8. "Isla" – 5:09
  9. "Shed Song (Improv. No 1)" – 8:23

(Bonus Download Track: "Su-Bo's Mental Meltdown" - 5:50)

Portico Quartet

The band's eponymous third album was released by Real World Records on 30 January 2012.


Recorded at Fish Factory Studios, August 2011
Produced by Portico Quartet
Mixed at Real World Studios by Greg Freeman and Portico Quartet
Mastered by Mandy Parnell at Black Saloon
Artwork and design by Duncan Bellamy

Track listing

All tracks composed, arranged and performed by Portico Quartet (except 'Steepless' written by Cornelia Dahlgren and Portico Quartet).

  1. "Window Seat" – 3:18
  2. "Ruins" – 5:34
  3. "Spinner" – 4:39
  4. "Rubidium" – 8:44
  5. "Export For Hot Climates" – 1:08
  6. "Laker Boo" - 7:51
  7. "Steepless ft. Cornelia" – 3:57
  8. "4096 Colours" - 4:35
  9. "City of Glass" - 6:36
  10. "Trace" - 1:53


  1. ^ "Portico Quartet @ Babel Label". Babel Label. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  2. ^ https://twitter.com/#!/porticoquartet/status/119085698996379649
  3. ^ Bearded magazine
  4. ^ "Official Album Chart for the week ending 20 September 2008". ChartsPlus (Milton Keynes: IQ Ware Ltd) (369): 5–8. 

External links