They are Female fronted
psychedelic bluesrock band
In today’s “In the Spotlight” it’s frigging Portobello Express!!!!
Hi guys and thank you so much for joining us today.
Hi my dear Creative Reader and thanks to you for the invitation!
From the start, How did you guys meet?
We actually started out as a party band. A good friend of ours was organizing a big party for her own birthday; along with some musician friends we decided to form a band and perform some of her favorite songs at her party. But we soon recognized that we were working pretty well together and so we decided to go on, adding some original material.
The name, there has to be a story behind it?
The name has been found out by Patrick, who wished to connect the band’s sound to the Swinging London Psychedelic years. Since Portobello is an Italian name- AND of a type of mushroom!- and Express sends back to coffee – we can’t live without it- here you have the name!
What was the first tune you wrote together
Our very first tune was ‘Aim For The Sky’, a song inspired by the Sixties sound of the British Mod Band Small Faces.
I know you guys play a lot of gigs, but how was your very first live experience, and if you could go back to give yourself some advice before going up on that stage, what would you say?
The first gig we had was at that birthday party, a huge venue in the historical centre of Vienna fully packed with people. The performance has been actually pretty good and we had a lot of fun, as in the audience were mostly friends. Though we were still a bit shy at the time. Betty wishes she had jumped
around on the stage like Roger Daltrey (LOL!) and she would have liked Patrick to destroy the guitar like Pete Townshend did!
What is your most fun audience memory?
This summer we played an open air concert in Hackerberg, in the south of the beautiful Burgenland (Austria). The atmosphere was uplifted, it was fully packed and we had so much fun! Both my boss and Patrick’s boss were there, too. The Mayor of the town, who also was in the audience, congratulated us for the show and we felt very flattered!
Best live gig memory to date?
The last show at the Viennese famous music club The Szene: we played support to a band of friends and the sound on and down the stage has been simply excellent. Good sound engineers are a rare commodity (lol)
Do you as a band or individuals have any sort of “rituals” or fave drinks/food to prepare you for a gig?
Indeed we have it! Betty has been years long vocal coached by an Afro-American teacher from Chicago, who suggested her before a gig, to warm up the voice, a sip of plain whisky, after the concert instead a tea with honey. As for Patrick, he always has a beer before going on stage and another one by his side on stage! But for the band it’s important to stick together in the backstage before of a gig and create that magic bond which on stage develops into a professional performance.
What is more rewarding, playing live or recording in a studio?
It’s hard to say as they are two worlds apart. For us personally, they are both an essential component of the musical process. Just recording is in the long run boring; live performing only makes no sense if you don’t have a product to offer to your followers. We luckily are a very tight unit and in both situations we give always our best.
What is your most memorable or fun memory from a studio rehearsal?
One of the funniest moments for Betty and Patrick has been the live video recording session of “Charity Ball”, a homage to our beloved all-female band Fanny. Martin, the drummer, and Reinhard, the bass player, were not in the band yet. Our friends of the band Abraham (Andy, Bertl and Chris) stepped in instead. The mood was terrific, truly high energy rock ‘n’ roll and we recorded song and
video in one take.
What are you currently working on?
Currently we are taking a hiatus from live gigs to concentrate on finishing the recording of our forthcoming album. 3 songs are already in the basket, the others need to be rehearsed first (just a little bit at least!)
What are you planning for the future?
We wish to be able performing more abroad but in the current economic crisis situation might be not easy. We are open for proposal though, so don’t hesitate to contact us, dear music clubs.
What is the one thing you would like to tell your fans?
We thank you all from the bottom of our heart for the love, the support and the friendship. Without you all, nothing of this would have been possible. You are the music, we are just the band.
What is the one thing you would like the Music industry to know?
Stop making famous fake people and back to the origin when genuine musicians were making genuine music.
That was my chat with Portobello Express and I have to say I enjoyed every minute reading these answers.. and that line to the fans, “You are the music, we are just the band.” that really moved me.