PJ Harvey - Live Review

PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey - Live Review Leeds University 07/09/04

Im excited, Ive been waiting to see P.J. Harvey in concert for over ten years. She appears on the stage with her band and they get a very warm welcome from the audience. Polly is wearing a small dress with her picture on and her name on the back, just in case we forget who we are watching maybye. This mixed with scary flourescent high heals and plenty of make up is a shift in image for the Polly I feel. Polly formed her band in Dorset in 1991 and over the years has worked with a number of good musicians. Perhaps one of the most recent being Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age. She has been the first female musician to be awarded the Mercury Music Prize.

The heavy riffing guitars on "what the fuck" remind me why I was first attracted to her music over ten years ago. Her voice ranges from the haunting softly spoken words to high pitched screams to gutteral

PJ Harvey - Live Review

growls and then back to her regular pitch, this gives her work contrast and feeling. I wonder whether this gig will be proof that P.J. is mellowing in her old age, I soon discover that this is not the case and the music represents a great mix of her early work and new material. Polly plays "Me Jane" from her album Rid of Me, which satisfies some of her older fans. She also plays material from her seventh album "Uh Huh Her" which is dedicated to a late relative of hers.

Half way through the set Polly gets the giggles and struggles to finish the song she is singing. Between the songs their is silence, a foreign voice shouts "are you happy?" there is a shy smile on her face and it is apparent that she is. One thing that strikes me is that there is little dancing at this gig though a lot of appreciation. Three quaters of the way through the set her neatly cropped hair is messed up a bit and she launches into a solo version of the track "Rid of Me". This is Polly at her best me thinks, the crowd watches intently and their response after it finishes pleases Polly.

Polly and her band play two encores, by the last set she appears to be reading from a sheet on the floor which is endearing. It is in the last set that the music is a little softer and Polly winds the show down, when it is all over there are a lot of satisfied smiley faces heading towards the door. A fantastic performance by one of our national treasures, in decades to come I hope to see her still up on stage like a female rolling stone doing her stuff.

daniel webb

PJ Harvey - Live Review Manchester Apollo 05/09/04

PJ Harvey with support from kNIFE and fORK

Lead man Eric Drew Feldman, part of tonight’s band lined up to warm the stage up, is not unfamilar to PJ Harvey, having supported her previously, incidently the same night he met Laurie Hall and formed tonights support act kNIFE and fORK.

She must have been impressed, as history repeats itself and he and the entire band are invited back to once again support the angst tinged singer on her UK tour, and to wow an excited Manchester crowd.

San Fransisco band kNIFE and fORK took to the stage with a confident introduction and immediately treated the excited crowd to their haunting and venue filling music, each member not without an instrument of some kind.

Percussion, keyboards, guitars, filled the intimate theatre and drowned out the inevtiable feet tapping of the curious and appreciative crowd who were taken on an ethereal journey through Fire, Winter and Wild, tracks from forthcoming album “Miserycord”

For a lady who over her successful and mysterious career has been known to be darker than a dementor, you can imagine the sharp shock on the pupils of the audience members as the Weymouth woe maker paraded on to stage clad in a tight, bright red dress. PJ is renowned for her single mindedness with set lists from previous gigs comprising of a large amount of new material, as she would not utilise the plethora of older material as often as the gathered crowd; old and young would like. Therefore, by utilising the gripping and crowd pleasing ' The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore', from her well liked 'Dry' album early on the lady of mystery kept the crowd guessing and of course happy throughout the evening.

Some of Polly Jean's new material that features on her much lauded 'Uh Huh Her' album, decorated a diverse set and proved that she is still as sharp and poignant as ever. Previous single 'The Letter' and 'Shame' were greeted with proud cheers and subtle shimmying a kin to the reaction most of the songs received tonight. There appeared to be a spring in the step of everyone in attendance; the leading lady exuded confidence and spirit swapping banter with bold members of the crowd as though she was buying groceries at her local store. P J still possesses the sort of presence, whereby she could have walked on stage and just stood there for 90 minutes and people will have remained intrigued and fixated on her. It was purely a bonus that she produced an evening of refreshing sincere and, emotional and heartfelt music.


David Adair

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