Portico Quartet: Montreal, Canada, October 2, 2010
The group also drew on material from Knee Deep with "News from Verona" and the lyrical title trackthe latter, a well-deserved and loudly demanded encore from the appreciative crowd. Portico also played one piece from its limited digital release Black & White Sessions (Bowers & Wilkins, 2009), recorded at Real World's studio, and the foot in the door for the group that led to its signing with Gabriel's label. Grooving with a faux-Latin pulse from Fitzpatrick but bolstered by Mulvey's relentless quarter-note patterns, it built to one of the group's most feverish pitches, a perfect ending to the set.
Heading back to the UK the next morning, Wyllie and Bellamy shed a little light on what's in store for Portico in the near future: "We've toured so hard, from February  through to now, we've had maybe a total of four weeks offmaybe," said Bellamy. "We must have done getting on 100 gigs, and we've 40 more to the end of this year." "We've done a lot of gigs that haven't really been about the money, but have been about spreading the word," added Wyllie. "It looks like we might be coming back for Winterfest in New York, next year; we'll be starting to think about writing in January, but we'll also, probably, be doing a remix album of some live stuff that we've done, maybe with some overdubs."
A live album to document Portico Quartet's growing interest in electronics, and how that is reshaping its existing repertoire, would certainly appeal to the Montreal audience that, after the show, lined up in great numbers to buy Knee Deep in the North Sea and Isla. And who knows? Maybe there'll be a market for the disc in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, too.
All Photos: John Kelman