Fans Respond To ‘Sexist’ PJ Harvey Review
News posted Wednesday, January 18 2012 at 11:00 AM.
Related: PJ Harvey.
720 ABC Perth have learned a harsh lesson over the weekend: you don’t send an audio engineer to review a gig. And not just any gig, PJ Harvey’s sold-out performance at Perth Concert Hall on Friday (January 13).
Ian Church, who attended the show with his partner, has incurred the wrath of PJ Harvey fans worldwide following his
government-funded review of the show, which sets music writing in this country back about 40 years. Here’s an excerpt (full review here):
I, like many of other males have been introduced to PJ Harvey by my partner. And after just two minutes of being at the concert hall, a guy and his wife pick up on our West Country English dulcet tones.
We talk about her music, and how although we as men are not massive fans, we both have great respect for her and her song writing.
After seeing PJ Harvey perform at festivals, I know this lass can hold her own with the boys. For research you only have to look at songs from the Desert sessions where she performs with the likes Mark Lanegan, and Josh Homme.
Published on Monday, the review has since been re-posted on Harvey’s Facebook page, with fans labeling it as “rubbish”, “embarrassing”, “pathetic” and “utterly horrible”.
“Surely the world has moved beyond this Macho rock crap?” read one post. “[It’s] interesting that he wrote about the desert sessions and not about the fact that she has been writing words and music for men to perform for 20 years.”
Another Facebook user described Church as a “paternalistic f/wit”, and called on an apology from the ABC. “Ian Church? Shame on you. I am an ABC subscriber and believe me they will hear from me once I have calmed down.”
Writing on Facebook, Melbourne music writer Andy Hazel said the review was "one of the most appallingly written misogynistic pieces of crap I've ever seen on the ABC".
"There must have been hundreds of better writers in Perth that night who could have written something insightful, well-researched, informative and factual," he said.
Harvey plays the State Theatre in Sydney tonight (January 18).
UPDATE, 2pm: 720 ABC Perth have now amended the PJ Harvey review, toning down the sexism in the first paragraph and adding a disclaimer at the end claiming it was an "audience review" even though Ian is on staff.
UPDATE, 3pm: An ABC spokesperson has advised M+N that while Ian Church is a member of staff, he attended the gig not as a representative of the organisation, but as a paying audience member. His opinion should be read as such.