This one was always going to be a hotly ticketed event as PJ Harvey announced two nights at Manchester’s Albert Hall. Many fans were left disappointed as both evening’s sold out almost immediately . Fans who managed to secure tickets were in for a treat as this was Harvey’s first tour for six years.
With no support, (unusual in today’s gig climate) Harvey took to the stage at 8pm, initially alone and shrouded in biblical lighting in a gorgeous white dress, angelic under the atmospheric gothic surroundings of this beautiful venue.
Endearingly quirky and unpredictable, Harvey danced around the stage as she was joined by her backing band, who added even more depth to this outstanding start to what was going to be a special evening. Initially playing songs from her latest album ‘I Inside The Old Year Dying’ which plays out like theatre, with modern dance intertwined with her poetic prowess.
The two hour strong set (with a brief interlude) saw Harvey return to perform older material. Songs from her 2011 release ‘Let England Shake’ an anti-war album which differs significantly to her recent release, perhaps mellowing somewhat in previous years. Harveys voice commands attention throughout, and at times you can hear a pin drop, the silence almost uncomfortably eerie.
The two hours passed quickly, a clear indicator that we were shrouded in PJ Harvey’s world for two hours, safe from the elements outside of which we had braved to get to this venue tonight. The night ended with a well received encore including fan favourite ‘C’mon Billy’ from her 1995 album ‘To Bring You My Love’. There was a lot of love in the room this evening.
PJ Harvey continues her UK tour this evening back in Manchester before embarking on the European leg, kicking off on Friday in Amsterdam.