Adrian Utley

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Adrian Utley
Adrian Utley - Portishead.jpg
Background information
Birth nameAdrian Francis Utley
Born (1957-04-27) 27 April 1957 (age 65)
Northampton, England

Adrian Francis Utley (born 27 April 1957) is an English musician and producer, and a member of the band Portishead.[1]


Born in Northampton,[2] Utley moved to Bristol in the mid 1980s, and heavily into jazz, played guitar with Big John Patton's touring band and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers.[1] He built up a collection of vintage instruments and studio equipment, and moved into production and film work.[3]

Portishead formed in 1990 with the first album Dummy released in 1994 followed by Portishead in 1997.[1] Third was released in April 2008.[4] During Portishead's hiatus between the second and third albums, Utley's production work included Beth Gibbons and Rustin' Man's Out of Season and he worked with fellow Portishead member Geoff Barrow as the Jimi Entley Sound and Fuzzface.[1]

During his career, Utley has recorded with artists as diverse as Marilyn Manson, Jeff Beck, Torres, Perfume Genius, Alain Bashung[5] and Marianne Faithfull,[2] and his film work includes Sound by Nic Roeg and Spiders from Mars with David Attenborough.[6][7]

In 2009, he was part of the jazz collective Stonephace, releasing a self-titled album.[1] In 2010, he composed a new soundtrack for silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc with Will Gregory (of Goldfrapp), performed by a 23 piece orchestra conducted by Charles Hazlewood.[8][9][10] In 2012, he was commissioned by the National Trust to produce "Sonic Journey," a piece of music inspired by walking among the trees at Croft Castle.[11][12] In 2013, he performed Terry Riley's "In C" with an ensemble including a bass clarinet, four organs (played by Hazlewood), and 19 guitars (including John Parish), the performance released on CD later that year.[1][2][13][14][15]

In April 2018 he featured in an episode of series 45 of the BBC Radio 4 programme Great Lives, speaking in praise of Miles Davis.[16]


Year Album Artist Details Ref.
1988 Rust Kevin Brown Arranger, guitar [17]
1994 Dummy Portishead As band member
Producer, composer, guitar, bass, Hammond organ, string arrangements, mixing
1995 Zanzibar Flanagan-Ingham Quartet Producer [17]
1997 Portishead Portishead As band member
Producer, composer, guitar, bass, keyboards, synthesizer, theremin, string and horn arrangements, mixing
1998 Fantaisie militaire Alain Bashung Electric guitars [17]
Roseland NYC Live Portishead As band member
Producer, composer, guitar, synthesizer, cabasa, orchestral arrangements
1999 Ultra-Obscene Breakbeat Era Guitar on "Late Morning" [17]
Reload Tom Jones Producer, guitars, bass on "Motherless Child" (with Portishead) [17]
Warminster Himself with Mount Vernon Arts Lab Producer, instrumentation [17]
2000 Textile Lunch Flanagan-Ingham Quartet Producer [17]
Felt Mountain Goldfrapp Bass, synthesiser [17]
American Psycho: Music from the Controversial Motion Picture Various artists Producer on "Trouble" by Daniel Ash [17]
2001 It's a Wonderful Life Sparklehorse Bass, guitar, Dictaphone [17]
2002 Out of Season Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man Producer, guitars, bass, keyboards, synthesizers, engineering [17]
Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project David Arnold Guitar on "The James Bond Theme" featuring LTJ Bukem [17]
Hometime Alison Moyet Guitar on two tracks [17]
Len Parrot's Memorial Lift Baxter Dury Co-composer of "Gingham Smalls 2", guitar, bass [17]
How Animals Move John Parish Guitar, Dictaphone [17]
2003 Black Cherry Goldfrapp Guitar, bass on "Train" [17]
Amorino Isobel Campbell Synthesizer of "This Land Flows With Milk" [17]
McKay Stephanie McKay Guitar, synthesizer [17]
Manipulating Agent Katalyst Guitar [17]
2004 Blottie Hurleurs Guitar, bass, melodica, clavinet [17]
2005 The Invisible Invasion The Coral Producer, engineering, mixing (with Geoff Barrow) [17]
Before the Poison Marianne Faithfull Guitars, bass, keyboards, synthesizers, piano, sampling [17]
Once Upon a Little Time John Parish Guitars [17]
Luxury Problems Patrick Duff Producer, bass, engineering [17]
2006 Supernature Goldfrapp Guitar on "Ooh La La", guitar & bass on "Satin Chic" [17]
Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited Various artists Performance and engineering on "Requiem for Anna" (with Portishead) [17]
2008 Seventh Tree Goldfrapp Bass guitars on "Caravan Girl" [17]
Bugs in Amber Get the Blessing Electric guitar [17]
Third Portishead As band member
Producer, composer, guitars, bass, keyboards, synthesizers, ukulele, programming, engineering
2009 Stonephace Stonephace As band member: electric guitar [17]
Bugs in Amber Get the Blessing Guitar, synthesizer [17]
2010 Heligoland Massive Attack Guitar [17]
2011 Street Clan Invisible System Guitar [17]
Happy Soup Baxter Dury Guitars [17]
2012 The Haunted Man Bat for Lashes Guitar, additional synths on "Horses of the Sun" [17]
The Pond The Pond Mixing [17]
OC DC Get the Blessing Guitar [17]
2013 In C Adrian Utley's Guitar Orchestra Guitar, mixing [17]
The Vapourer Spiro Mixing, producer, Moog [17]
2014 Too Bright Perfume Genius Producer, guitar, bass, synthesizers, handclaps, engineering, mixing [17]
Lope and Antilope Get the Blessing Guitar, synthesizers [17]
Ostinato Versari Producer, guitar, synthesizers, piano, engineering [17]
Give My Love to London Marianne Faithfull Guitar [17]
Subterranean: New Designs on Bowie's Berlin Dylan Howe Guitar, introduction [17]
Crows' Bones Martin Green Guitar, bass, keyboard, percussion, mixing [17]
2015 Sprinter Torres Guitar, synthesizer, temple block [17]
2016 Zoo Françoiz Breut Producer, instrumentation, mixing [17]
Sirens Joe Volk Guitar on "Sirens", engineering [17]
2017 Three Futures Torres Synthesizer [17]
The Underside of Power Algiers Producer, guitar, synthesizers, drum machine [17]
Zone on Nine BONZIE Guitar, bass, synthesizer, Swarmandal [17]
2018 Hunter Anna Calvi Synthesizers, keyboards [17]
Arcadia (Music From The Motion Picture) Himself & Will Gregory Guitar, synthesizers [17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jurek, Thom "Adrian Utley Biography", Allmusic. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  2. ^ a b c Mejia, Paula (2015) "In Search Of Intensity, Musicians Turn To Adrian Utley", NPR, 6 May 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  3. ^ "Portishead’s Adrian Utley shows off synth collection, taps up Andy Stott on film score", FACT, 19 September 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  4. ^ Forrest, Peter (2008) "Adrian Utley: Recording Third", Sound on Sound, November 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Fiegel, Eddi (2001) "Ears Wide Open", The Guardian, 28 February 2001. Retrieved 1 January 2017
  7. ^ "Adrian Utley", British Film Institute. Retrieved 1 January 2017
  8. ^ Rogers, Jude (2010) "The Passion of Joan of Arc/Utley/Gregory, Colston Hall, Bristol", The Guardian, 11 May 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  9. ^ Schultz, Christopher (2011) "Portishead, Goldfrapp Members Premiere Hypnotic ‘Joan of Arc’ Soundtrack", Spin, 31 October 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  10. ^ Alleva, Daniel Michael (2011) "Adrian Utley & Will Gregory: Goldenhead", The Aquarian Weekly, 26 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2017
  11. ^ Morris, Steven (2012) "Portishead's Adrian Utley soundtracks stroll among ancient trees", The Guardian, 16 October 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  12. ^ "Portishead's Adrian Utley commissioned for Sonic Journeys", The Wire, 14 June 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2017
  13. ^ Murray, Robin (2013) "Organised Chaos: Adrian Utley", Clash, 24 October 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  14. ^ Tuffrey, Laurie (2013) "LISTEN: Stream Adrian Utley's In C In Full", The Quietus, 10 October 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  15. ^ "Adrian Utley records Terry Riley's In C for electric guitars", The Wire, 6 August 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  16. ^ "Adrian Utley of Portishead on Miles Davis". BBC. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd "Adrian Utley". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 October 2018.