Monday, April 03, 2006

 

Peel Sessions 2


PJ Harvey both the name of a group and a person, one of John Peel's long term favorites that has recorded five proper Peel Sessions and a Peel acres special, these were sessions that were recorded at his home as opposed to the BBC studios in London. I saw PJ live in Montpellier it must have been 1994 but maybe I'm mistaken about the date I think she was touring to support her second real LP 'Rid Of Me' that had been unleashed on the public the previous year. I must admit to not being her biggest fan, but what I can say is how much the gig moved me. On stage she represented both an extreme fragility and at the same time a lions share of aggression. The image of the beginning of the concert has stayed with me till this day, PJ all alone bathed in white light Wearing a dress, legs a stride, nothing vulgar more a statement of intent, Strumming and singing along to the songs intro, captivating maybe a bit cliched but you had to be there. The other memory of the evening was her taking out a disposable camera inbetween songs and snapping the audience, I guess she did this at all of her gigs, I often wondered if she ever got the photos developed? So an excellent gig, and sidetracking a little bit here, last Saturday I saw the Rakes and I'm sorry to say I was seriously unimpressed, I don't think it was me as others expressed their disappointment, it was really just that we'd seen it all before and done better.
today's chosen number from PJ Harvey was the song that made us all take notice and ask who was this woman, her debut single 'Sheela Na Gig' as recorded for her first Peel session 29 October 1991. This number was just a preview of what would come, her early albums were a strong feminist take on that most macho of musical forms primal dirty blues with the added bonus of being catchy songs with the necessary hooks to seduce you.

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