Beth Gibbons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Beth Gibbons
Gibbons at Roskilde Festival 2011
Background information
Born (1965-01-04) 4 January 1965 (age 56)
Exeter, Devon, England[1]
GenresTrip hop, folk,[2] alternative rock, baroque pop, dance pop, experimental pop
InstrumentsGuitar, keyboards, vocals
Years active1991–present
LabelsGo! Beat, Sanctuary
Associated actsPortishead, Rustin Man

Beth Gibbons (born 4 January 1965) is an English singer and songwriter. She is the singer and lyricist for the band Portishead.

Early life[edit]

Gibbons was born in Exeter, Devon, England[3][1][4] and raised on a farm with three sisters. Her parents divorced when she was young.[5] At 22, she moved to Bath, then Bristol to pursue her singing career, where she met Geoff Barrow, her future collaborator in Portishead.[6]


With Adrian Utley, Gibbons and Barrow released the first Portishead album Dummy in 1994 and have produced two other studio albums, a live album, and various singles in the years since.

She has also collaborated on a separate project with former Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb (Rustin Man). Before she joined Geoff Barrow in Portishead, she had auditioned for the singer's slot in .O.rang, the group formed by Webb after Talk Talk's late-Eighties departure from EMI, but Portishead's sudden success pre-empted matters. In October 2002, they released the album Out of Season in the United Kingdom under the name Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man. The album peaked at number 28 in the UK Albums Chart.[7] It was released in the United States a year later: while touring in North America, Variety favourably described her performance with Rustin as "Billie Holiday fronting Siouxsie and the Banshees".[8]

Gibbons crowdsurfing in 2011

Gibbons was also a judge for the 10th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.

In June 2013, Gibbons announced plans for a new solo album with Domino Records.[9][10] She contributed vocals to a cover of the song "Black Sabbath" with the British metal band Gonga, entitled "Black Sabbeth", released on 24 April 2014.[11]

In 2018, Gibbons contributed vocal performances, along with Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, to the Spill Festival held in Ipswich in an audio installation entitled 'Clarion Calls', which uses the voices of 100 women to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.[12]

Her 2019 album, recorded with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs), was released in March. The recording was made during a 2014 concert. Gibbons had to study the Polish language especially for this performance.[13]

Style and inspiration[edit]

She has cited Nina Simone, Bono of U2 for his performance on The Joshua Tree, Otis Redding and Jimmy Cliff as a musical inspiration.[5][14] She has named Janis Joplin,[15] Edith Piaf,[citation needed] Janis Ian[15] and Elizabeth Fraser.[citation needed]




Other works[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tammy La Gorce. "Beth Gibbons Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  2. ^ Beitia, Sara (11 August 2004). "Beth Gibbons: Out of Season". Boise Weekly. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Full Beth Gibbons Biography". Perfect People. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Beth Gibbons - Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Solo album bio" Biography previously published on a Finnish site (archived), Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  6. ^ Stuart Clark. "Never Mind the Bollocks". Hot Press. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 226. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ Mirkin, Steven (28 October 2003). "Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man". Variety. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Domino". Beth Gibbons. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Portishead's Beth Gibbons to Release New Solo Album on Domino". Pitchfork. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Sabbath cover" Jeremy Gordon, 'Portishead's Beth Gibbons Covers Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath" With Metal Band Gonga', Pitchfork, 24 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Town's WW1 tribute uses 488 loudspeakers". BBC News. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  13. ^ Marshall, Alex (29 March 2019). "Beth Gibbons of Portishead Learned to Sing in Polish. So I Did, Too". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Oor Interview 1995" Erik van den Berg, There's not only emotion in the way you sing but also in what you sing, Oor Magazine (no. .6), 8 April 1995, (translated from Dutch). Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  15. ^ a b Fitzpatrick, Rob (26 June 2013). "The Roots Of... Portishead". NME. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" - Beth Gibbons, Krzysztof Penderecki, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  17. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (24 April 2014). "Portishead's Beth Gibbons Covers Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath" With Metal Band Gonga". Pitchfork. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  18. ^ Simpson, Paul. "Mandela Effect - Gonjasufi | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 June 2019.

External links[edit]