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Fans Respond To ‘Sexist’ PJ Harvey Review

News posted Wednesday, January 18 2012 at 11:00 AM.
Related: PJ Harvey.

Fans Respond To ‘Sexist’ PJ Harvey Review

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.

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Your Comments

woolfat  said about 2 years ago:

paternalistic fuckwit. good call.


mud  said about 2 years ago:

Not to take away from the sexism, but man, that's some shitty writing throughout.


Mess+Noise  said about 2 years ago:

Ian's review of Gary Numan


ghoti-max  said about 2 years ago:

PJ Harvey is a woman!!!??? This is an outrage. If anyone wants to buy my ticket for tonight please get in touch asap.


Jerry Thackray  said about 2 years ago:

Good post.


illywhacker  said about 2 years ago:

I enjoyed this concert amazingly.

Holy shit.


mrmagoo  said about 2 years ago:

cripes


JJ  said about 2 years ago:

Fucking atrocious writing.

Supported by her 3-piece band dressed like they should be sat at in old pub, all wearing white shirts and waist coats.

Wot?


Ralph Malph  said about 2 years ago:

I enjoyed this concert amazingly. The only thing that let it down was the cheap merchandise, but if you were wearing that to look cool then you really need to take a look at yourself.

I get the feeling Ian looks (and admires) at himself quite a bit in the mirror


bamesjaker  said about 2 years ago:

That Gary Numan review is awful.


illywhacker  said about 2 years ago:

When he went into 'Are Friends Electric?' it sounded as fresh as it would today.

Wait, what?


andyr  said about 2 years ago:

the gary numan review is so special

I know me and my 30-something mates all had a whale of a time. Gary Numan has been keeping it real, and for that I thank him.


charlesincharge  said about 2 years ago:

I do agree there is a gender divide to who likes PJ Harvey.

I'm mean, obviously yeh, men are impressed with the way she can hold her own, but women like her because she also has a cunt.


bamesjaker  said about 2 years ago:

Now I have to be honest, I am a bit of a tech head. I read manuals for equipment I don't even own yet, and to spot Gary Numan's right hand man Ade Fenton come out on stage left to help fix a synth, I got a little anxious.

As luck would have it there was nothing more of a twist of a power cable to get it working and from my eagle eye there were six synthesizers across the stage, bass guitar and drums.

Whew. I could feel the tension rising.


toadphoney  said about 2 years ago:

Poor Ian. Everyone is a music critic critic these days.


oldtimer  said about 2 years ago:

Then there was a drastic change of set, that saw the synths disappear from the stage giving Gary some rooms to shake what his bus driver dad of London town gave him.

my god


Temet  said about 2 years ago:

It's terrible, but I don't really see what 'government funded' has to do with it...it's not like the ABC reviews all its content with a minister before publishing or something!


ghoti-max  said about 2 years ago:

Poor Ian. Everyone is a music critic critic these days.

I think the outcry is more a reflection on his ridiculous attitudes to female musicians than it is on his critical skills...although, yeah, that too.


toadphoney  said about 2 years ago:

I think the outcry is more a reflection on his ridiculous attitudes to female musicians than it is on his critical skills

LOL. He was being nice about her


toadphoney  said about 2 years ago:

Everyone is a music critic defender critic these days.


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losgauchos  said about 2 years ago:

Ian Church and Matthew Newton walk into a bar and order some beers from the barmaid.
The barmaid give the beer too much head and Churchy makes a sexist and derogatory comment about how women can't pull beers as well as men. Mathew Newton then beats the shit out of her because he is a woman basher.


wintertime  said about 2 years ago:

meh, it's really not that bad. there's only one line in the exerpt I would hesitantly call 'sexist':

I know this lass can hold her own with the boys

But you can take it two ways: 1. either that women are not as good at music as men generally, or 2. that there are more men in music so the calibre is higher because of sheer numbers. 1 is sexist, 2 is not.


wintertime  said about 2 years ago:

hell, maybe 1 isn't even sexist, I don't even know anymore. Who gives a fuck. Why am I even writing this.


Evilio  said about 2 years ago:

losgauchos said 25 minutes ago:

Ian Church and Matthew Newton walk into a bar and order some beers from the barmaid.
The barmaid give the beer too much head and Churchy makes a sexist and derogatory comment about how women can't pull beers as well as men. Mathew Newton then beats the shit out of her because he is a woman basher.

Fuck you have such a hard on for Matthew Newton


The_Tupelo_Flash  said about 2 years ago:

Having a West County accent doesn't stop someone from being an Australian.

''after just two minutes of being at the concert hall, a guy and his wife pick up on our West Country English dulcet tones''

''After seeing PJ Harvey perform at festivals, I know this lass can hold her own with the boys''

''At the concert we were told by another fellow English lady usher that there would be no support band''

''Supported by her 3-piece band dressed like they should be sitting in old pub, all wearing white shirts and waist coats. The only thing missing from the picture would be a Lurcher dog.''

''It felt like we had gone through a porthole back to the old country and the concert hadn't even begun.''

Sure, the reviewer might be an Australian citizen but could this douche be more of any more of a POMMY BASTARD! ....haha


gregcharles  said about 2 years ago:

I remember hearing a J-Files on Polly Jean many years ago. a female caller said something along the lines of 'I cant believe how many males are calling up and are into her music'. Kingsmill rightfully pulled her into line. it doesnt matter what side of the divide yr coming from, basing someones music on their gender is dumb, dumb, dumb. why is it with PJ its a particular issue? there seems to be this idea that certain female artists like Tori amos, Joni Mitchell and Sinead o connor is 'chick' music. Joni is hardcore cool, does what she wants, and thats why i like her. PJ is both brutal and charming, enigmatic and subversive. she is a true original. thats all that matters to me. gender has never been an issue with music i like.




Tramdriver  said about 2 years ago:

charlesincharge said: I do agree there is a gender divide to who likes PJ Harvey. I'm mean, obviously yeh, men are impressed with the way she can hold her own, but women like her because she also has a cunt.

I found this funny and I have no idea why.


australiapost  said about 2 years ago:

Thats not sexist. This is sexist. Go to the Dan Kelly bit.
http://www.messandnoise.com/events/2000486


josejones  said about 2 years ago:

yeah, we've dealt with this already, australiapost. it was three years ago.


FrankieTeardrop  said about 2 years ago:

australia post - always late.


LoadMyRig  said about 2 years ago:

golden


Jerry Thackray  said about 2 years ago:

There was a frenzy of Tweets last night from some highly amused U.K. broadsheet music critics about this. it seems Ian's fame is spreading.


TimChuma  said about 2 years ago:

Meh. If he really wanted to be sexist he could have mentioned her songs being popular with strippers.

Too many other gigs on for me to justify the $100+ for a ticket.


denialdemonicdisrup  said about 2 years ago:

He well and truly is the Florence Jester Jenkins of music journalism.


toadphoney  said about 2 years ago:

I think he is more the party boy Cory of music journalism.


toadphoney  said about 2 years ago:

Also, this is just tall poppy syndrome.


denialdemonicdisrup  said about 2 years ago:

Corey Feldman of music journalism?


Morris Iemma  said about 2 years ago:

I heard girls are go through this weird thing at 13 and at 16 they come out either elfin goddesses or whores - so PJ Harvey can't be both, right?


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