http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ptsh.jpg
[[caption-width:500:Making soundtracks for imaginary {{Film Noir}} spy movie fever dreams since 1994]]

The other famous trip-hop band from Bristol that helped [[TropeCodifier codify]] and popularise the genre alongside MassiveAttack, Portishead have been rolling around the music scene since 1991. The band consists of the following members:

* Beth Gibbons - vocals, occasional guitar
* Geoff Barrow - RecordProducer, DJ, sampler, keyboards, drums, multiple instruments
* Adrian Utley - guitar, bass, keyboards

Dave [=McDonald=] is occasionally named their "fourth member", having served as engineer and producer and occasionally contributed instruments on all their albums.

Portishead's famous SignatureStyle is a combination of hip hop-inspired breakbeats, dense productions, Utley's distorted guitars, influences from spy film soundtracks, samples, and Gibbons' haunting vocals. Their music is only enhanced by their FilmNoir-influenced aesthetics and {{Surreal Music Video}}s These elements brought them critical and commercial success right out the gate with their debut ''Dummy'', but ever since they've pursued a harsher, more dissonant DarkerAndEdgier sound marked by claustrophobia, heavy distortion and industrial influences on ''Portishead'' and ''Third''.

In 1994 They made a short film titled ''To Kill a Dead Man'', which they wrote and acted in. They're also infamous for taking a long time to make albums, a trait shared by their fellow Bristolians MassiveAttack - they were on a long hiatus between 1999-2005.

Discography:
* ''Dummy'' (1994)
* ''[[SelfTitledAlbum Portishead]]'' (1997)
* ''Roseland NYC Live'' (1998) - live album
* ''Third'' (2008)

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!!Tropes:

* CreepyChild: The girl in the video for "All Mine."
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Portishead'' and ''Third''. While the lyrics don't get any more melancholy, the sound gets darker (''Third'''s beat was a lot more industrial).
* FakeGuestStar: Utley is not officially signed on with the band and is technically a guest contributor on each album, but everyone considers him a full-time member of the group.
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: The spoken Portuguese at the beginning of "Silence".
* GratuitousPanning: All of their videos.
* LastNoteNightmare - "Silence" ends in, well... silence.
* MindScrew: Their short film ''To Kill a Dead Man''. It's a spy film with no dialogue and nightmarish, paranoid imagery.
* MoodWhiplash - "Deep Waters" in the middle of ''Third'', which is a Hawaiian tune about a girl choosing to face her fears.
** "Glory Box" is either a woman asking her husband to be a bit more caring and loving, or a cheating woman tired of cheating man asking the same question. Either way, the lyrics - and music, somewhat - aren't as sad as the rest of the songs on the album.
* MoreDakka: "Machine Gun" uses percussion to audibly apply this effect, though the song itself has nothing to do with the trope.
** This was used to good effect in the [[{{Metro 2033}} Metro Last Light]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su1djPuvDnw trailer]], with the beats syncing up to gunfire.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly - They're classified as "trip-hop", but they're more if NineInchNails was a jazz band instead and if TrentReznor was a middle-aged woman - there's not much rapping going on, compared to MassiveAttack.
* NewSoundAlbum: ''Portishead'' and ''Third''.
* NonAppearingTitle: A favorite trope of theirs.
* ReclusiveArtist: The band are known for being reluctant to do interviews and talk to the press.
* {{Retraux}}: ''To Kill a Dead Man'', styled after FilmNoir and [[SpyFiction spy films]].
* {{Sampling}}: From old spy film soundtracks, soul and jazz singles and, on ''Portishead'', original material created by Barrow and Utley.
* SurrealMusicVideo: Most of their videos.
* {{Theremin}}: Played by Utley on "Mysterons". "Humming" also has a Theremin-ish sound, but that's actually a Moog. Both get used if - and when - they do play live.
* UncommonTime: A few songs on ''Third'' are in unusual time signatures. The song 'Small', for example, is partly in 11/4 time.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Everyone in the video for Glory Box.
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