Geoff Barrow calls Amy Winehouse a "comic character"
Geoff Barrow of Portishead has upset fans of the late Amy Winehouse with some outspoken comments on the singer.
Barrow said he was not a big fan of her music or her voice. "I think Whiney Sh**ehouse - Amy Winehouse, by the end of it, had just become a comic character of herself and how she sang," he told the ElectronicBeats website. "I saw her with an electric guitar in a little pub in Bristol and people were going 'that's amazing,' but it wasn't at all. Then she had the big drug problem and all the tabloids got involved and she would start being Minnie Riperton or whatever it was."
Barrow was fairly scathing about the new generation of mainstream female pop vocalists, suggesting they all have the same voice, but it was his comments about Winehouse that broke through the general air of reverence about the singer since her death. "It seemed fake, but because there was a massive drug problem you couldn't say it was fake, but her actual voice was fake. She had a real life with a fake voice."
He made the comparison with Portishead and the way that Beth Gibbons used her influences but didn’t allow them to shape her entire vocal style. "When Portishead started, Beth was very influenced by Janis Joplin. She sang in her voice but it was based on singers that she liked."
When Winehouse fans complained about Barrow’s lack of respect, he responded, "I'm sure she was a lovely caring talented person - I didn't know her. Very sad that she passed away - but I never dug her vibe."