PJ Harvey makes live return at Manchester International Festival

Singer showcases new songs for very first time

PJ Harvey made a spectacular live return last night (July 7), with a special one-off gig at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

The performance marked just one aspect in the current line-up for the

Manchester International Festival which has also seen The Good, The Bad & The Queen frontman Damon Albarn unleash his ‘Monkey: Journey To The West’ opera onto theatre goers.

PJ Harvey graced the stage just after 9pm in a spectacular

floor-length white Edwardian dress to raptuous applause and even an fog horn, which she addressed by exclaiming “you brought the foghorn!”,

before picking up a lone electric guitar and diving straight into ‘Oh My Lover’.

Each of her classic albums were celebrated here last night, including 2000’s ‘Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea’ with tracks ‘Big Exit’ and ‘Horses In My Dreams’, plus earlier albums

including 1993’s ‘Rid Of Me’ in the form of its title song and ‘Man Size’.

Stand out tracks came from 1998’s ‘Is This Desire?’ with an intensely vulnerable rendition of ‘Angelene’, and ‘Uh Huh Her’ tracks ‘Shame’ were passionately performed before the singer picked up an acoustic guitar and treated fans to ‘The Desperate Kingdom Of Love’.

New songs taken from her next album (to be released in September) were

attempted for the first time on piano.

Calling herself a “novice piano player”, Harvey performed first track ‘The Devil’ to a metronome, before going on to perform three other new tracks including ‘The Mountain’, ‘Silence’, and song “about the West Country”, the title track ‘White Chalk’.

PJ Harvey played:

‘Oh My Lover’

‘Send His Love To Me’


‘The Devil’

‘White Chalk’



‘My Beautiful Leah’

‘Nina In Ecstasy’

‘Electric Light’


‘Big Exit’

‘Down By The Water’

‘The Mountain’

‘Rid Of Me’


‘Horses In My Dreams’

‘The Desperate Kingdom Of Love’