July 11, 2001 – Istanbul, Acikhava Theatre
The Sky Lit Up Beautiful Feeling

Send His Love To Me
The Sky Lit Up
This Is Love
Good Fortune
This Wicked Tongue
One Line
A Place Called Home
Somebody’s Down Somebody’s Name
Beautiful Feeling
Down By The Water
The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore
Horses In My Dreams
You Said Something
Big Exit

Nickel Under The Foot

PJ Harvey’s first ever live appearance in Istanbul, Turkey was something worth seeing -– a
spectacular tour de force displaying Polly’s unique style and exceptional talent in live

The concert, which took place within the annual Istanbul Jazz Festival, was only two days after
Nick Cave’s set at the same venue, during which Polly is rumoured to have been among the audience.
Cave was definitely not among the impatient 5,000 that Wednesday night, who nearly exceeded the
top capacity. Polly humbly walked onstage with her band at 22:00, only an hour later than the
officially announced time. She was wearing the same outfit she wore in the A Place Called Home
video: the gorgeous golden transparent dress, high-heeled tigh-high black boots and the kitsch
black rose on her arm. Her hair was shoulder length and she appeared to be without much
make-up. She looked truly stunning -- gone was the miserable and awkward woman of the early
90’s; now there stood a confident, self-assured Polly Jean Harvey, radiant with the newly-found
feminine allure.

Without saying a word, she launched into a more electrical, louder version of Send His Love To
Me, during which she kept tapping her feet on the floor, just as she did with most of the songs
later to be played. After mood of the night was gracefully set, a terrific The Sky Lit Up
followed. Polly’s undeniable charisma as she played tambourine through the song and the clever
light effects during the chourus made the sky lit up, literally. A passionate This Is Love
preceded what was actually one of the night’s highlights: an up-tempo, crowd-pleasing Good
Fortune which was sung with effortless beauty, even with a wild participation from the
audience. The next number was This Wicked Tongue, which is only available on the UK version of
Polly’s latest album, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. The crowd was unfamiliar
with that one, but they were actually amazing in taking up Thom Yorke’s parts on the following
One Line. A Place Called Home again got great response from the audience and was obviously
another highlight. Somebody’s Down Somebody’s Name, a tense Beautiful Feeling and a lively Down
By The Water followed, until the blazing power of The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore
truly rocked the place. The follow-up was the haunting Horses In My Dreams, during which
Polly’s guitar was the only instrument. Another Stories number, You Said Something was
particularly amazing with its unique romantic feel and Polly’s improved vocals at the end. Dry
was another crowd-pleaser, especially for the older fans. However, nothing really came close to
the last song before the encore: an incredible rendition of the fierce Big Exit, during which
Polly moved up and down the stage, showing the best of her vocal abilities and proving she’s
by far the coolest rock chick alive.

 A wild applause broke after she and her amazing band left the stage. It took a few minutes of
cheering and clapping before she came back alone, with her guitar. However, due to some
technical problems, she couldn’t launch into the following song and apologized to the crowd
pleading them to be patient. When the problem was fixed, she began to play the first notes of
the fantastic Man-Size which still sounded better with all these passing years. A PJ Harvey gig
without a song off Dry is unthinkable; so the next number was Hair, which was yet another
highlight. The crowd kept on screaming for C’Mon Billy, Rid Of Me, Sheela-Na-Gig and Oh My
Lover but the closing number Polly had chosen was probably the perfect ending for such a
powerful, emotion-driven night: the mesmerizing Nickel Under The Foot. The raw emotion of her
performance and the sheer beauty of the song ended the night on a very high note. After
thanking the crowd and saying what a wonderful night it has been for her, Polly silently left
the stage. Leaving no doubt she’s one of the best things happened to music in the 90’s and that
we would be very lucky to have her for at least another decade. -- Deniz Cebe

© 2001 Deniz Cebe
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