Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Polly Harvey

This was one of the finest gigs I have had the pleasure of witnessing. She was amazing. A tiny woman in a black dress that looked like a Victorian mourning gown, very polite and smiling, quite relaxed with a home crowd; then as each song began it was as if she tore an opening into another universe of pain and strange colours, then closed it again at the end of the song and said "Thank you". Each song had it's own slightly different setting, but there was not much fuss. The whole gig felt quite informal, but there is no doubting the power and authenticity of her work. In the solo context you can really see the folk aspect of the songs that might be less obvious with a loud band. And the range of her voice is astonishing. But the abiding feeling was a sense of an honest and powerful artist pursuing her work with wit and self-assurance, believing in the work and not being caught up in any celebrity shit. This is rare enough these days, and I left feeling like I had had some of whatever it is we need to live on other than bread alone.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


This is a very interesting group of people based in Belfast, who did some stuff at Greenbelt this year that was full of ideas but ultimately a bit of a frustrating experience. They said a lot of things but the best thing any of them said was this.
And this is a crap photo of them doing their thing, which was called 'The God Delusion'.