Beth Gibbons (born 4 January 1965) is an English singer and songwriter. He is the singer and songwriter of the band Portishead, who have released three albums. He released an album with Rustin’ Man, Out of Season, in 2002, followed by an album with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2019.
Gibbons was born in Exeter, Devon, England and grew up on a farm with three sisters. His parents divorced when he was young. At 22, he moved to Bath, then Bristol, to pursue his singing career, where he met his future collaborator Geoff Barrow in Portishead.
Along with Adrian Utley, Gibbons and Barrow released the first Portishead album Dummy in 1994 and have produced two more studio albums, a live album and various singles in the years since.
He collaborated on a separate project with former Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb (Rustine Man). Before he joined Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, he auditioned for a singer slot in .O.rang, the group formed by Webb after Talk Talk’s departure from EMI in the late eighties, but Portishead’s sudden success derailed matters. In October 2002, they released the album Out of Season in the United Kingdom under the name Beth Gibbons and the Rustin’ Man. The album peaked at number 28 on the UK Albums Chart. It was released in the US a year later: during the North American tour, Variety described her performance with Rustin as “Billy Holiday fronting Siouxsie and the Banshees”.
Gibbons was crowdsurfing in 2011
Gibbons was a judge for the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards to support the careers of independent artists.
In June 2013, Gibbons announced plans for a new solo album with Domino Records. He provided vocals on a cover of the song “Black Sabbath” with British metal band Ganga, released on 24 April 2014.
In 2018, Gibbons performed vocals with Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins at the Spill Festival in Ipswich in an audio installation entitled ‘Clarion Calls’, which uses the voices of 100 women to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the latter. World War.
In 2014, Gibbons performed Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3 with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki. Gibbons sings in Polish. The performance was released in 2019; Reviewing the album for Pitchfork, wrote: “Part of the tension comes from hearing his untrained voice scale these rocky heights. His vibrations, tight and trilling and barely controlled, sound eerily like someone fighting off a panic attack. This will get him.” Dismissed from a traditional opera audition, perhaps, but this can be a pretty well-worn work that’s brilliantly effective at sending raw shivers.”
In 2022, Gibbons was featured on the track “Mother I Sober” on Kendrick Lamar’s album Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers.