Harvey goes it alone at N.Y. show


NEW YORK -- Donning the full-length white dress seen on the cover of her latest album, "White Chalk," Polly Jean Harvey played the first of two stateside solo gigs Wednesday night at New York's Beacon Theatre.

"I brought most of my home with me to keep me company," she remarked early on, referring to the knick-knacks that were seen on top of her piano.

Harvey's set found the singer/songwriter dipping deep into her back catalog, as well as featuring numerous tracks from "White Chalk." Despite the lack of a backing band, she kept the crowd in awe by switching instruments every few songs. Guitar songs such as "Rid of Me," "To Bring You My Love" and "Man-Size," showed a bluesy, grungy side, contrasted by the softer strains of "White Chalk" and "The Devil" on piano.

Harvey also used a harp for several tunes and incorporated pre-recorded beats during "My Beautiful Leah" and "Angelene." Other highlights included a throaty, desperate sounding version of "Big Exit," and the B-Side "Nina In Ecstasy," which Harvey said was "one of my favorites that hardly gets the light of day."

Harvey's next show will be Oct. 15 at Los Angeles's Orpheum Theatre. At the moment, there are no plans for a larger tour.

Here is Polly Jean Harvey's set list:

"To Bring You My Love"
"Send His Love To Me"
"When Under Ether"
"The Devil"
"White Chalk"
"My Beautiful Leah"
"Nina in Ecstasy"
"Electric Light"
"Big Exit"
"Down by the Water"
"Grow, Grow, Grow"
"The Mountain"
"Rid of Me"
"The Piano"
"Desperate Kingdom of Love"