PJ Harvey - Bestival 2011 review

'A lack of interaction holds back a set that remind us just how good Harvey has always been'

PJ Harvey - Bestival 2011 review

Photographer: Sara BowreyDaniel Fahey on 10 September 2011

9/10

Stood beneath the glowing smilies and cupid hearts of the Bestival 2011 stage, PJ Harvey couldn’t contradict the primary-coloured rave motifs and peace symbols that adorn it any further.

Dressed entirely in black, the recent Mercury Prize victor would look more at home on windy highland moors, staring bleakly out to sea in the hope of spotting a lost partner.

The slight bluster of a breeze and the soft mud underfoot help add to the mood this evening, which is one of a soul-baring beauty as songs from that winning LP ‘Let England Shake’ emerge elegantly.

The title track and ‘The Words That Maketh Murder’ are keen examples of her songwriting precision, Harvey strumming the autoharp on the left of the stage, but it’s the fuzz of ‘Down By The Water’ and the battle beat of ‘The Pocket Knife’ that strengthen this showing.

A lack of audience interaction and insistence on not being the centre of attention are all that holds it back as ‘Angelene’ and the rumbling new wave bleakness of ‘Meet Ze Monsta’ remind us just how good she’s been for quite some time.

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