Billboard Bits: Portishead, Feeder, Tesla

News on the new Portishead album, the new Feeder single, and Tesla's tour dates.

British trance/dance proponents Portishead will record their next Go Beat/London album in Sydney. Band member Geoff Barrow has been in Australia for some months already, DJing under various aliases. Barrow has been initially working on ideas in a small studio in Surrey Hills, and will be joined shortly by Portishead's other members, Adrian Utley and singer Beth Gibbons.

The album is said to be harder hitting than previous efforts such as 1997's self-titled set, which debuted at No. 21 on The Billboard 200. Since that album, the group released a concert recording, "PNYC: Portishead Roseland NYC Live," which debuted at No. 155 on The Billboard 200 in November 1998.

-- Christie Eliezer, Sydney

U.K. rock act Feeder is heading for the biggest hit single of its career this weekend with their new cut "Buck Rogers," released this week on Echo. Prominently featured on BBC Radio 1 and London alternative station Xfm since before Christmas, the track has an unofficial "midweek" U.K. chart position, according to Chart Information Network figures, of No. 4. The band's previous best chart showing was the No. 20 mark achieved by "Yesterday Went Too Soon" in August 1999. Feeder has also announced its first U.K. live dates for 18 months, a set of six shows starting March 2, ahead of the scheduled April 2 release of its third album "Echo Park." The set was produced by Gil Norton, previously favored by many British bands such as Echo And The Bunnymen, Del Amitri, James, Catherine Wheel, and Longpigs. -- Paul Sexton, London

Late '80s/early '90s pop metal act Tesla has regrouped and will hit the road in February. The band's original line-up -- vocalist Jeff Keith, guitarists Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch, bassist Brian Wheat, and drummer Troy Luccketta -- will kick off the first leg of its reunion tour Feb. 16 in Boise, Idaho. More dates will be added soon. After splitting in 1995, the band played its first show together last October in its hometown of Sacramento, Calif., supported by current acts 3 Doors Down and Oleander. The band's last release was the 1996 Geffen anthology, "Time Making Changes - Best Of Tesla." Its last studio album, 1994's "Bust A Nut," debuted at No. 20 on The Billboard 200. A live album culled from the upcoming tour is also being contemplated. Here is Tesla's confirmed tour itinerary: Feb 16: Boise, Idaho (Big Easy) Feb. 17: Salt Lake City, Utah (TBA) Feb. 18: Denver (Ogden Theater) Feb. 19: Kansas City, Mo. (Beaumont) Feb. 21: Milwaukee (Rave Bar) Feb. 22-23: Chicago (Vic Theater) Feb. 24: Minneapolis (First Avenue) Feb. 26: Oklahoma City (In Cahoots) Feb. 27: Dallas (Bronco Bowl) Feb. 28: Houston (Aerial Theater) March 2: Tucson, Ariz. (Rialto Theater) March 3: Phoenix (Celebrity Theater)