Music Network presents PORTICO QUARTET

11 January 2010

"Floating somewhere between jazz and modern classical music, this young group make a strikingly original sound." The Times

genuinely innovative…there isn’t a band that sounds remotely like them…” **** stars” Observer Music Monthly

 “A joy to listen to, full of depth and detailWord Magazine 


Music Network presents the weird but wonderful sound of Mercury-prize nominated UK Portico Quartet on a national tour from Tuesday 16th – Thursday 25th February. Showcasing tunes from their recent album Isla which has been described by MOJO as a brew of, “… Steve Reich mathematics, Radiohead dread, African desert grooves and ECM northern melancholy …a chiming cavernous sound-world that is both exotic and hypnotic”. Music Network tours provide a wonderful opportunity to see some of the world’s foremost music ensembles at affordable prices in venues around Ireland and are presented in association with The Irish Times and RTÉ lyric fm.  Music Network is revenue funded by the Arts Council. Further information from

Portico Quartet are four young musicians from East London who sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before. A group that’s both ground-breaking and wildly popular, they hit the headlines in 2008 when their debut album Knee Deep In The North Sea was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Critics began to think the unthinkable: could a young group fresh from busking across Europe take on the pop might of Radiohead and The Last Shadow Puppets – and win? To make matters worse, the group already had the sort of word-of-mouth cult following normally associated with the likes of Pete Doherty. What’s going on?

The answer is simple: music that is breathtakingly original yet chock-a-block with hummable tunes and killer hooks. There’s more – great grooves, atmospheric soundscapes and the silvery tones of something once described as “ two woks glued together” - the hang, both a rhythm and melody instrument that gives Portico Quartet their trademark hypnotic tone.

Still in their early ‘20s, Jack Wyllie (saxophones and electronics), Milo Fitzpatrick (double bass), Nick Mulvey (Hang and percussion) and Duncan Bellamy (drums) live together and describe their ethos as like an indy band that plays post-jazz rather than as a traditional jazz outfit. It’s the unique mix of loops, ethereal sax, otherworldly hang, clattering drums and earthy double-bass that gives their music it’s inimitable, beautiful sound. And it was the chance purchase of the hang by Duncan Bellamy, at a music festival, that inspired the young friends to start a band, and while their largely intuitive music references jazz and African music, it’s the hang inspired trance-like repetitive patterns that propel the band into stranger pastures: invoking Philip Glass and Steve Reich as well as Radiohead or the unique Scandi-jazz sound of EST.

Portico Quartet’s unique brand of atmospheric hook-heavy post-jazz was honed busking across Europe and playing in unusual spaces; churches, galleries and chill-out zones and in just a few years Portico Quartet’s hypnotic music has taken them from busking on London’s South Bank, to a Mercury Prize nomination, to recording at Abbey Road Studio 2 with producer and famed nurturer of young bands John Leckie (Stone Roses, Radiohead, Muse etc).

If you’re not already a fan: this band is quite unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. If you are, you’ll know to book early!

On Tour: Tue 16th February, DUBLIN (The Coach House, Dublin Castle, 8:00 PM), Wed 17th February, NAVAN (Solstice Arts Centre, 8:00 PM), Thu 18th February, RAVENSDALE, DUNDALK (Anaverna, 8:00 PM), Fri 19th February, TINAHELY (Courthouse Arts Centre, 8:30 PM), Sat 20th February, NEWBRIDGE (Riverbank Arts Centre, 8:00 PM), Sun 21st February, AN DAINGEAN (Lab na Mainistreach, 8:00 PM), Tue 23rd February, GALWAY (Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUIG, 8:00 PM), Wed 24th February, BALLINA (Ballina Arts Centre, 8:00 PM), Thu 25th February, SLIGO (The Factory Performance Space, 8:00 PM).


For Listings Editors:

Portico Quartet

On Tour: Tuesday 16th February – Thursday 25th February

Nick Mulvey, hang

Duncan Bellamy, drums

Jack Wyllie, soprano and tenor saxophone

Milo Fitzpatrick, double bass



Tue 16th February, DUBLIN

The Coach House, Dublin Castle, 8:00 PM

Tickets: €15 / €10 / €40 (Family)

Booking Tel.: 01 6719429

Promoted by Music Network


Wed 17th February, NAVAN

Solstice Arts Centre, 8:00 PM

Tickets: €15 / €12

Booking Tel.: 046 9092300

Promoted by Solstice Arts Centre


Thu 18th February, RAVENSDALE, DUNDALK

Anaverna, 8:00 PM

Tickets: €18 / €5

Booking Tel.: 042 9371490

Promoted by Anaverna


Fri 19th February, TINAHELY

Courthouse Arts Centre, 8:30 PM

Tickets: €16 / €15 / €14 (friends)

Booking Tel.: 0402 38529

Promoted by Tinahely Courthouse Arts Centre


Sat 20th February, NEWBRIDGE

Riverbank Arts Centre, 8:00 PM

Tickets: €12 /€10

Booking Tel.: 045 448327

Promoted by Riverbank Arts Centre


Sun 21st February, AN DAINGEAN

Lab na Mainistreach, 8:00 PM

Tickets: €15 / €10

Booking Tel.: 087 8546572

Promoted by AnnÓg


Tue 23rd February, GALWAY

Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUIG, 8:00 PM

Tickets: €20/€16/€6(students)

Booking Tel.: 091 / 705962

Promoted by Music for Galway


Wed 24th February, BALLINA

Ballina Arts Centre, 8:00 PM

Tickets: €12 / €10

Booking Tel.: 096 73593

Promoted by Ballina Arts Centre


Thu 25th February, SLIGO

The Factory Performance Space, 8:00 PM

Tickets: €15 / €12

Booking Tel.: 071 9170431

Promoted by Itchy Feet





For media queries and photographs, please contact: Louise Walsh, PR & Marketing Manager, Music Network: (01) 671 9429/(087) 649 0818 or