Preview: PJ Harvey, SECC Glasgow
Singer-songwriter brings a body of socially-conscious work to Glasgow
Three years of travelling across Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington DC with photographer and filmmaker Seamus Murphy led to PJ Harvey's latest release, The Hope Six Demolition Project. The title references the HOPE VI projects in America where derelict public housing was knocked down to build better homes in which the previous tenants could no longer afford to live, a project that invited justified accusations of social cleansing.
With a sense of candidness at its very core, the album was recorded as part of an installation – Recording in Progress – where the public could watch the sessions through one-way glass. This commentary on constant surveillance ties in with this particular release's documentary vibe – Harvey also wrote a book of poems about what she experienced at the same time as she wrote the songs for the album.
Although she hasn't always been so globally politically-charged in the past, Harvey's recent wanderlusting is reminiscent of her continued need to diversify in her work. Early in her solo career, Harvey experimented with bluesier sounds, wandering through indie, pop and piano ballad records, and now, if The Hope Six Demolition Project is anything to go by, this European tour can expect a destination of menacing, end of the world anthems. Her Glasgow gig will be at the SECC, the cavernous venue befitting the seismic vibe she will no doubt bring with her.
PJ Harvey plays SECC, Glasgow, Wed 2 Nov.