Friday, June 30, 2006

PJ Harvey - Please Leave Quietly DVD

It could never happen. We know that. PJ Harvey could have a meaningful romance with Truth or Beauty or Eternity or Death (or Nick Cave), but not with a mere mortal, a mere lovelorn indie boy. To us, she must remain a mystery.

But to every mystery, there are clues – and this DVD, released last month, is full of them. Look, there she is, drunk on tequila; or making a dirty joke about 'muffed-up plucking'; or getting the giggles for no apparent reason during a performance of 'Down By The Water'; or proving that the way she sings (part sex pather, part mournful wraith, part dictator addressing her troops) isn't the way she talks (more Dorset milkmaid). For once, the real Polly Jean! Sigh.

That's in the all-too-brief behind-the-scenes interludes, which capture, as PJ herself puts it, the 'ramshackleness, the brokenness, the changeability' of touring. Most of the rest of the DVD is cut together from several gigs on the 2004 Uh Huh Her tour. Unfortunately the footage, directed by long-time collaborator Marie Mochnacz, is often very murky, and the sixteen songs themselves never stray too far from the album versions, although you do get two decent new ones. If you want to pretend to yourself that you went to a PJ Harvey gig, this DVD is no good. But if you want to pretend to yourself that you met her backstage afterwards and made her your bride, this DVD is a start.

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