13. Februar 2001
und endlich mal eine Künstlerin, die das Fotografieren mit "Pocketcameras" erlaubt. That's cool, PJ Harvey auf dem Titelbaltt der Februarausgabe von live in concert. Und kaum bin ich in London angekommen, um mir PJ Harvey live im Shepards Bush Empire auf wenigstens einem der drei angesetzten und ausverkauften Konzerte anzusehen, prangt mir von jeder Ecke der TimeOut entgegen, die Valentinsausgabe ebenfalls mit PJ Harvey als Titelblatt.
Ja, und dann haben wir tatsächlich noch Karten ergattern können
und am Sonntag (11. Februar 2001) ein geniales Konzert erlebt. PJ Harvey,
mit ihrer umwerfenden etwas rauchigen Stimme, in einem roten glitzerndem
Kleid und 7 Zemtimeter hohen Absätzen verwandelte das altehrwürdige
Empire innerhalb von Sekunden in einen tobenden Hexenkessel. Der Pony reicht
fast bis in die Augen und sie versteckt sich schüchtern hinter der
neben ihrer zarten Figur riesig erscheinenden roten Gitarre. Aber sobald
sie die Seiten anschlägt ist alle Scheuheit gewichen und sie eröffnet
die Show mit einem furiosen rockigem "rid of me" erst für "send his
love to me" kommt auch die Band mit Drummer Rob Elis auf die Bühne.
"You could at least say hello" und "Polly, you look beautiful" ruft jemand
dazwischen, was ihr tatsächlich ein kurzes Lächeln entlockt,
aber ansonsten gibt es Musik pur. Kein Theater drum herum, keine Effekte,
die vom eigentlichen Erlebnis ablenken. "rock reduced to its bare bones"
wird das THE INDEPENDENT am nächsten Tag nennen. Aber bis dahin erwartet
uns ein Erlebnis von fast schmerzhafter Intensität.
Die Songauswahl ist eine gute Mischung ihrer bisherigen
Veröffentlichungen, wobei die schönsten Stücke auf B-Seiten zu finden sind: 30 z.B. Wicked tongue, The whores hustle..., kamikaze, one line und das aktuelle Good Fortune lassen den Saal beben, kaum einer kann sich der mitreißenden Musik entziehen, aber auch ältere Stücke wie hair, the sky lit up, Mansize, dry, somebody's down... animieren das Publikum zu wilden Tanzeinlagen. Dazwischen ist eine Ballade wie Angeline oder horses in my dreams eine ohrenerholende Abwechslung. Bei down by the water singen alle mit, was sie etwas ablenkt, so daß sie glatt ihren Einsatz nach dem Solo von Rob Elis verpasst. Aber das ist eben live und macht das Ganze um so liebenswerter. Ein wundervoller Abend wird mit dem bewegendem sheela-na-gig beschlossen.
Am Montag (12. Februar 2001) überraschte sie uns mit einer fast vollständig neuen Setlist c'mon Billy, 66 promises (ebenfalls eine B-Seite) und dem wunderschönen Song nickel, der zum Soundtrack von >Cradle will Rock< gehört.
Der dritte Abend am Dienstag (13. Februar 2001) war dem ersten sehr ähnlich, nur die Reihenfolge der Songs war anders. Trotzdem war es ein beeindruckendes Erlebnis und ich kann ihr Konzert in Köln kaum erwarten. Diese letzte Schau wurde gefilmt und wird im März über das Internet ausgestrahlt werden:
Last week a friend and me traveled to London to see PJ Harvey live at the sheperd's bush empire. As you might know, all three shows where sold out short after their announcements. Luckily we got tickets for tuesday, but not for sunday and monday. Nevertheless we attended to the venue on Sunday aproximately an hour before the doors opened. A gang of 7 or 8 man tried to buy any spare tickets and reselled them for the fourfold price. I don't like such practice and I don't support it. So we draw a little sign, that we are looking for tickets. And surprise surprise! Not waiting more than 10 minutes we got them :-) Thanks a lot to the guy how selled them to us.
How great! So we entered the venue in time to see PJ Harvey live. To
me it was the first time. We had seats on the first level balcony. So we
where not really "in" the show, but had a good overview and an excellent
And it was an excellent show. She looked beautiful in her red dress and her high heal red shoes. (It was the dress from the timeout magazine cover). And her voice is just incredible. It was very rocking and moving. She started with Rid of me and ended with sheela-na-gig as the second encore. The setlist was quite similar to that on the third day, but in a different order.
Second day we didn't make it into the venue (well, we didn't try), and this was a big mistake. She did a lot of different songs compared to Sunday and Tuesday: c'mon billy, 66 promises, nickel (very new song, hopefully it will apprear on the new single "a place called home" out February 26th, it's said to be very beautiful and I can't wait to listen to)...
Third day we went to the venue really early to get front row. Giant sand who supported PJ Harvey did a good job, but I don't really like their kind of music. It's a very fluid, mostly instrumental and more quite kind of music.
PJ entered the stage in time and simply blustered the crowd with her
awesome and overwhelming "wicked tongue". No time to rest, she leaded over
into "this is love", "good fortune", "send his love to me", "hair", "a
place called home" and "one line". Before the more quite "Angeline" she
didn't forget to thank Giant Sand for their support.
She continued with "you said something", "the sky lit up", "dry", "30", "The whores hustle..", "Kamikaze", "Big exit" and ended with "horses" and a wild applause from the audience. After a short while she came back to stage to do the first encore with a very rocking and crowd moving "man-size", "down by the water" and "somebody's down, somebody's name". During "down by the water" the whole audience repeated the lines and had much fun, so she missed her intro after the drum's solo. She slapped her hand against her forehead but nevertheless she continued the song. She multi-apologized for her fault, but this was quite cool, that's really live! I believe no one would take offence of that. Personally I loved it, how she managed this faux pas. For the second encore she was alone on the stage with her red guitar and performed "rid of me" (acoustic) and together with her band the wonderful "sheela-na-gig".
I don't know, if there was one at her last tours, but this time there was a merchandising selling t-shirts in different colours and with three different designs.
Altogether it was a great show and I am now looking forward to see her again in Cologne :-)
THE INDEPENDENT entiteled their review of the Sunday show "for once,
the devil in heels is smiling" and subtiteled " Rock reduced to its bare
bones: Polly Jean Harvey's reticence only compounds the allure for her
"HEY POLLY! You could at least say 'hello'," shouted one near-hysterical man as the woman on stage finished a beautifully pared-down version of her song, "send his love to me". Holding her hands up, PJ HArvey stepped to the microphone and told us how she had missed playing here. But, from then on, it was business as usual: minimal banter, the odd glimpse of a smile and a performance of aching intensity. [how true!]
Such is the nervous adulation that this Dorset-born siren inspires that grown men are reduced to pleading for a simple acknowledgement of their presence. Her reticence only compounds her allure. After opening the show with a minimalist and starky theatrical version of "rid of me", the title track of her second album, Harvey turned her back on us and sipped her water as if she were wiling away the evening in a rehearsal studio.
Yet Polly Jean is a woman of many contrasts. Her lyrics are full of naked emotion yet her own life is, at her insistence, entirely her own. In interviews she comes across as a shy and compassionate person, though when she picks up her guitar and plucks those dark, dirty chords she is transformed into a devil-woman. Her voice may sound almost masculine in its graininess but in the flesh she is all woman. Last night, she appeared wearing a sparkling red dress and six inch spiked heels - it is no wonder that the men in the audience can't contain their excitement.
There is, though, a lurking confidence to the performance. Harvey found the instant fame that accompanied the release of her 1992 debut "dry" so hard to handle that she had a breakdown. Now in her thirties, she seems firmly in the driving seat. Her latest album, "Stories from the city, stories from the sea", has sold 3 million copies worldwide and this year she has been nominated for a Brit award for best female singer - her fourth nomination.
Such attention is wholly deserved. With the solid support of mulit-instrumentalist Mich Harvey (formerly of hte Birthday party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and her longtime drummer Rob Ellis, "Big Exit" is rock reduced to its bare bones. Despite a hiccup with a pedal-board, the song stands a head and shoulders above the rest on her latest album. "Angeline" is reworked in to a gentle ballard complete with orchestral flourishes, augmenting the tragedy and pathos. Snarling her way through "good fortune" it is like watching Patti Smith at her feral best.
There are few out there who can rival Harvey as a singer, a performer, or even as a mere presence.
Fiona Sturges, THE INDEPENDENT, 12 February 2001
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kaum hatten wir Tickets für London ergattert, wurden auch Auftritte in Deutschland angekündigt. Nichts wie hin nach
1. März 2001
Cologne - 1st march 2001 - live music hall
Luckily I live quite close to cologne so we have been really early at the venue, the live music hall in cologne. Weather was cold but fine and we were in good spirits. Additionaly nice Eric Drew Feldman (bass and keyboard) pointed out that we might be lucky meeting PJ Harvey. But PJ managed to use a hidden back door and when we heard a few tones of the soundcheck, we knew we missed her again...
Anyway, she is absolutely worth everything and everytime.
Let me start with the support act: giant sand again. They speeded up they music and grew in strength. Two female singer were added to their band and this was well done.
During a short break of only about 20 minutes the stuff prepared a lot
of water beakers, a pack of ricola cough sweets and nose-drops... The first
four lines were asked to stop smoking to treat her voice with care for
the next shows.
PJ Harvey was obviously ill but nevertheless entered the stage, beautiful suited in a high necked black dress with a white edging and long sides and high heeled black boots. So it was not surprising that she started a steady and peaceful session with "beautiful feeling", "30" and a quite calm "the sky lit up". "the whore's hustle and the hustlers whore" burbled along. It was still enjoyable great, but ecpecially the last one mentioned did miss this rocking intensity I experienced two weeks before in London. After someone organized a pack of handkerchiefs she became more powerfull and during "good fortune", "a place called home" and "one line" she had a growing delighted beaming in her face. And me too, 'cause she did one of my favorite songs "c'mon billy". Here she had a very untypical but funny interaction with the audience, when someone cried "Dorset" "where are you from? Dorset? - no, Liverpool!" Rob Ellis on drums was a bit impatient whether this untypical interruption. "But she's from Liverpool" an amazed Polly defended when Rob passed into "66 promises" followed by "angelene" and "horses in my dreams". The highlight of the show, Polly did an overwhelming awesome intense version of "rid of me". She pulled out all the stops and facettes of her voice solo. This was absolutely tip-top fantastic.
Now she had warmed up, the cold was conquerd for the night and the show became the moving and rocking touch i missed so far. The corresponding setlist contained her goodies "Sheela-na gig", a very enormous "mansize", the terrific "kamikaze" and last but not least "big exit". Polly you kan't leave the stage now!
First encore she performed a powerful "this is love" continued with "down by the water" which seems to be rather unknown in germany, because only a few fellows joined in between the lines. This part she closed with "somebody's down somebody's name".
The neverending applause forced her back on stage to fire the audience with "dry", accompanied by Margaret Fielder on Chello and the simply beautiful "nickel under your foot" from the >cradle will rock< soundtrack. I never heard this live before but i prayed and prayed and so my heart beated faster when she really really did it as last song of this magnificent night.
hat sich voll gelohnt das. Köln war einsame Spitze. Sie war zwar leicht erkältet, hat aber prima durchgehalten und alle meine Lieblingsstücke gespielt: the whores hustle... nickel under foot :-)