Adrian Utley

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Adrian Utley
Adrian Utley - Portishead.jpg
Background information
Birth name Adrian Francis Utley
Born (1957-04-28) 28 April 1957 (age 60)
Northampton, England
Genres Electronica, trip hop
Associated acts Portishead, Stonephace

Adrian Francis Utley (born 28 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 and Marianne Faithfull,[2] and his film work includes Sound by Nic Roeg and Spiders from Mars with David Attenborough.[5][6]

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.[7][8][9] 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.[10][11] 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][12][13][14]

Work outside Portishead[edit]

  • Warminster (1999), Ochre - with Mount Vernon Arts Lab
  • Stonephace (2009), Tru Thoughts - with Stonephace
  • In C (2013), Invada - Adrian Utley's Guitar Orchestra
  • The Vapourer (2013), Real World - with Spiro


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jurek, Thom "Adrian Utley Biopgraphy", 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. ^ Fiegel, Eddi (2001) "Ears Wide Open", The Guardian, 28 February 2001. Retrieved 1 January 2017
  6. ^ "Adrian Utley", British Film Institute. Retrieved 1 January 2017
  7. ^ Rogers, Jude (2010) "The Passion of Joan of Arc/Utley/Gregory, Colston Hall, Bristol", The Guardian, 11 May 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  8. ^ Schultz, Christopher (2011) "Portishead, Goldfrapp Members Premiere Hypnotic ‘Joan of Arc’ Soundtrack", Spin, 31 October 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  9. ^ Alleva, Daniel Michael (2011) "Adrian Utley & Will Gregory: Goldenhead", The Aquarian Weekly, 26 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2017
  10. ^ Morris, Steven (2012) "Portishead's Adrian Utley soundtracks stroll among ancient trees", The Guardian, 16 October 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  11. ^ "Portishead's Adrian Utley commissioned for Sonic Journeys", The Wire, 14 June 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2017
  12. ^ Murray, Robin (2013) "Organised Chaos: Adrian Utley", Clash, 24 October 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  13. ^ Tuffrey, Laurie (2013) "LISTEN: Stream Adrian Utley's In C In Full", The Quietus, 10 October 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2016
  14. ^ "Adrian Utley records Terry Riley's In C for electric guitars", The Wire, 6 August 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2016