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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:46 am 
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Another aspect which we should take into account is PJ’s conflicted relationship with the business of celebrity. In the early interviews she expresses an active sense of disgust and bewilderment at the way people are determined to treat her, as well as a distrust of her own reaction to it (‘I might end up big-headed or something’). Clearly she felt then, and probably still feels, a deep unease at the contradiction between desiring to perform and the projection of desire onto the performer, between her knowledge of her own talent and of her own imperfection. Her way of coping with this is to concentrate totally on the ‘producer’ side of the equation, and not to be deflected even in the tiniest way. It can come across as standoffishness, but it’s a form of humility, or at least a reflection of a self-aware person who wants to be humble. You might argue that the truly humble response would be to accept the adulation others want to pay her and that after twenty-six years she ought to have got used to it, but I admire her attitude for what it is.

If I were so bold as to try and sum up what she seems to think about herself and her relationship to her work, the world, and us, it would be the epitaph she gave herself in 2005: 'some pictures of birds and flowers, and a blank space where my name should be'. Assuming it's not just affectation, I get a bit tearful at that.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:17 pm 
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Cormac wrote:
.... If she was the sort of artist to do meet and greets and appear on BBCs One Show to flog her latest record, then she probably wouldn't be the incredible artist she is.

Sometimes you can't have it both ways. She is who she is.


To elaborate in this vein, and perhaps as an extension of the excellent post above fromAineteEkaterini, I got to thinking that the type of artist and person she is, for which we all appreciate, has as a likely consequence of being (in large part) remote to her fans.

Specifically, she has said on many occasions that she would have created regardless of whether or not there were any fans. You may also recall that she was surprised early on that anyone would want to listen to her music, that she created it for herself, to satisfy her own curiosities. And unlike the vast majority of pop/rock musicians, she is entirely consumed with process and creativity with little to no regard for sales and careerism and achieving or maintaining popularity. If this were not the case, her career would have followed the much more typical path of creative redundancy.

And there has also been a seeming "hands off" relationship between her and the record company. They appear to leave her be, to do as she pleases instead of trying to push her in certain directions (i.e., "SFTC, SFTS was popular, we need you to make another album just like that Polly!", etc.). The fact that she has been able to maintain her artist integrity and independence from non-artistic considerations throughout her career is an indication of her very strong will, which is further enhanced by a strong management team (or so I've read in the past).

So for most other artists who have more interest in maintaining their popularity, more significant interaction with and consideration for their fans makes more sense. For someone like Polly who doesn't have those same priorities, it doesn't.

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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 12:52 pm 
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A nice and relevant blog post from the Revd John Davies in 2004 I stumbled across by chance:

http://www.johndavies.org/archives/2004 ... chive.html

"When I said I was going to see PJ Harvey in Dublin I was thinking of tonight's front-row Circle seat at The Olympia. Not an eyeball-to-eyeball conversation half an hour after getting off the plane. But there she was, on the steps of Books Upstairs as I prepared to make the city's celebrated radical bookshop my first stop. So I said "Hello", we shared a few words about the upcoming gig, she said, "Enjoy it", smiled her trademark wide, generous smile, and I spent my first few minutes in the shop gazing unfocussed at shelves of James Joyce, telling myself what had just happened had just happened, happy already that this trip has been worthwhile.

[From Avalon Hostel lobby, Thursday 08:50]

"... and the gig itself lived up to hopes, too. Polly ranged right across her now-lengthy career and treated us to some classics alongside the excellent newer material. Highlights: 50 Foot Queenie and Meet Ze Monsta (proving I like her rockist Beefheartian stuff the best), plus lots of good conversation with those around me, leaning forwards over the front edge of the Circle almost overhanging the stage - best seats in the house. One of those special nights in a likeable, lively celtic city."


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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 5:53 am 
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I got to meet PJ Harvey in 2001 or so outside of a venue here when she opened for U2. I only went to the show to see her and we left after PJ’s set. Anyway, she walked right out of the venue into the open air, she had a jacket on and was purchasing food at the concessions like a normal person. A few people had already stopped her and so we talked to her, too. She was making a joke that all the food backstage was ‘gone’ and she needed to hurry and eat, etc. and didn’t like to eat before the show but was a ‘cow’ afterwards, etc. It was so cool. She ribbed us for walking out on U2. She did decline taking pictures with this one guy and made a joke about how she was using some kind of dry shampoo product on the tour to keep her hair straight and she would be haunted by a string of pictures with “goo” in her hair, etc. It was funny and she was lovely and very cheerful and friendly. She did have some people with her and they didn’t talk. We didn’t really have anything for her to sign. It was a wild, random, surreal, disorienting chance encounter. I was such a major fan since the album Rid of Me and I was a bit dumb and starstruck because she’s so small in person and I hadn’t really ever seen a celebrity that close up before. All I remember saying was that I loved her so much and quoted some lyric to Is this Desire? and she said something sweet about how I remembered it better than her and said thank you. She then rushed us and told us to go back and watch U2 and ‘let her eat!’ and we laughed and she left through a door. It was amazing. I know people get bent out of shape but they’re people, too. Maybe she was hungry after your show.


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 1:00 pm 
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Between_These_Lands wrote:
I got to meet PJ Harvey in 2001 or so ... .


That's a lovely story, thank you for sharing it. I suppose as she was only the support act (!) the situation was a bit different.

I think people have contributed enough to show how complex PJ's relationship with what she does is. She seems to be perfectly happy to meet people on a normal human level, with the usual caveat about times she might be tired, hungry, cold-ridden, or just low-spirited like the rest of us. But the mechanisms of 'fame' are a different matter.

But 'eat like a cow' ? I thought she never ate anything, just sucked on a bit of lettuce now and again : )


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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 6:17 am 
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The venue I saw her at has this strange lower level that is full of souvenir shops and many different restaurants. That’s where we ran into her and she was taking the employee elevator! Haha.

I specifically remember her saying “cow” because I thought it was funny since she was so visibly tiny. Maybe it was just lettuce inside but she was holding a pretty big styrofoam carryout container! Haha.


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:04 pm 
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AineteEkaterini wrote:
...I thought she never ate anything, just sucked on a bit of lettuce now and again : )
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:06 pm 
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sorry to heard that, but no everyone is in the mood for signing authograph after a gig. You need to uderstand that Polly is a person, and she is not perfect, she is shy and have several problems with stalkers in the past.

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