PJ Harvey | T.T. the Bear’s Place | August 15, 1992
Harvey’s Dry (Too Pure/Indigo) came whistling across the pond, and one of the album’s earliest detonations was in Cambridge, where PJ Harvey (the band), fronted by Polly Jean Harvey (the artist), performed one of their debut US shows. Harvey was as stark as the album — a raw blast of female strength and determination, with just a hint of worldly woundedness, set to a grinding soundtrack dominated by the down-picked growl of her guitar. It was punk, grunge-folk, and a bit metal in a twisted Lou Reed way. And it was stunning. But in Doc Martens, all black, hair pulled back severely, and standing straight and still, Harvey was a tiny slip of a woman, as if she’d reduced herself to something that could hide inside her music. She said little if anything to the crowd and shyly made a quick exit after her dark little lightning bolt of a performance ended. It was a show that promised she’d be an artist to reckon with, even if it was difficult to comprehend how massively she’d grow creatively and as a stage persona.
The cover of PJ Harvey:Siren Rising, a 2004 biography
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