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Gibbons, Webb Go In "Season"

Portishead singer, Talk Talk bassist bring buzzy album to U.S.

September 17, 2003 12:00 AM ET

After garnering international acclaim over the past year, Out of Season -- a collaboration by Portishead vocalist Beth Gibbons and ex-Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb -- will finally be released in the U.S. on October 7th.

According to Webb, the long delay in getting the album released stateside is par for the course with Out of Season (recorded under the moniker "Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man"), which the pair spent four years crafting and even longer discussing.

In 1995, Gibbons sang on a track by O'Rang, a band featuring Webb and Talk Talk drummer Lee Harris. Webb says he and Gibbons hit it off so famously that Gibbons lived with him and his wife for a week. He adds, despite their strong friendship, "I knew her as a great singer, not a great songwriter. We never said, 'Oh, we're definitely going to do an album together.'"

When they finally did set down to begin work on the album that would eventually become Out of Season, he says they had one goal: "To make a record different from anything we'd done before."

Because both Gibbons and Webb live in what he describes as "isolated environments," the making of Out of Season was a solitary project for the duo, and he admits there were some nerves when the album came out. "It was a bit worrying, because if the reviews had been terrible, I would've felt like, 'What did I bother doing that for?' Obviously when the reviews came in there was a sense of relief, because we hadn't had any feedback from anybody."

With Gibbons still an active member of Portishead and Webb expecting to take a year off to be with his new baby, there are no definite future plans to continue their collaboration. Because of the strong response though, they have been playing sporadic dates for over the past year with a band that includes Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley and Harris on drums, as well as keyboardist Jason Hazeley Smith, bassist Simon Edwards and violinist Claire Mactaggart.

The group finally makes its way to America in October to wrap up the tour, and there is one silver lining for Americans who had to wait so long to experience Out of Season. "We've done like forty gigs," Webb says, "so now the band's really come together. It's a really hot band now."

Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man tour dates:

10/8: Philadelphia, Theater of Living Arts
10/10-11: Brooklyn, NY, St. Ann's Warehouse
10/13: Boston, The Roxy
10/15: Chicago, Metro
10/17: St.Paul, MN, Fitzgerald Theater
10/19: Denver, CO, Ogden Theater
10/22: Seattle, Experience Music Project Sky Church
10/24: San Francisco, Warfield Theatre
10/26: Los Angeles, The Palace

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