PJ Harvey tonight. In concert at Les Nuits de Fourviére in Lyon France and recorded on June 14, 2016. An artist of unquestioned brilliance who is also strangely underrated in the eyes of the mainstream, at least in the U.S. (well . . .no great loss) – but considered to be an artist’s artist by many who regard her work as uncompromising, urgent, vital and compelling.
Polly Jean Harvey began her career in 1988 when she joined local band Automatic Dlamini as a vocalist, guitarist and saxophone player. The band’s frontman, John Parish, would become her long-term collaborator. In 1991, she formed an eponymous trio and subsequently began her professional career. The trio released two studio albums, Dry (1992) and Rid of Me (1993) before disbanding, after which Harvey continued as a solo artist. Since 1995, she has released a further nine studio albums with collaborations from various musicians including John Parish, former bandmate Rob Ellis, Mick Harvey and Eric Drew Feldman and has also worked extensively with record producer Flood.
Among the accolades she has received are the 2001 and 2011 Mercury Prize for Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000) and Let England Shake (2011), respectively—the only artist to have been awarded the prize twice—eight Brit Award nominations, seven Grammy Award nominations and two further Mercury Prize nominations. Rolling Stone awarded her 1992’s Best New Artist and Best Singer Songwriter and 1995’s Artist of the Year, and listed Rid of Me, To Bring You My Love (1995) and Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. In 2011, she was awarded for Outstanding Contribution To Music at the NME Awards. In June 2013, she was awarded an MBE for services to music.
In the odd event you haven’t heard of her, I would suggest you stop reading this, hit the play button, and dive in for the next 90 minutes. You might come back a different person.
In which case, I told you.