PJ Harvey was invited as special guest for this years edition of the Woerdz Festival at the venue Südpol near Lucerne. She was programmed between several artists presenting the current spoken word art in swiss and Albanian culture.
The contrast was impressive. While the audience could hardly wait for the next punchline during the shows of Tim Krohn, Michael Fehr & Manuel Troller and Die Eltern, the silence made everybody stop breathing during PJ Harveys presentation of her lyrical work.
Even when she once had a little trouble spelling one of her sentences, what made her interrupt completely in a humorous way, no one in the hall even moved. So the atmosphere kept completely serious during her 35 minutes recital, although her poetry was written based on the impressions she had as she traveled through Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington D.C. trying to perceive with the mind of a child.
The reason for this could not only be found in the very serious topic she worked with. Her reputation as a musician goes with her like the crow she portrayed during her world tour with Let England Shake.
I was looking forward to finally get a chance to concentrate entirely on her lyrics. No chance – her presence banished me as everybody else.
So I left with the usual PJ Harvey impression: incomparable intuition.
And at least with some words of her last poems, words that would have made Robert Walser cry.