Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

9. PJ Harvey4-Track Demos

I remember hearing a PJ Harvey song, it might have been ‘Down by The Water’, and thinking ‘this is wicked, I’m gonna buy some of her music!’ At that age I had pocket money, about five pounds, so I went to this music shop in Exeter, found the PJ Harvey section, and all they had was this cheap cassette of 4-Track Demos. I was learning the drums around that time, and listening to the drums in a way I’d never done before, getting obsessive about it. I bought this PJ Harvey record, I put it on and thought ‘OK, the drums are gonna come in soon!’, but of course they never come in, it’s all demos. It was insanely disappointing! But I’d payed the money for this record, so I listened to it, and it became this educational thing for me of understanding that this was part of writing a song. Comparing the demos to the finished tracks, it was an interesting thing to hear and I think the most important thing I’d take from it is investing in something that deprives you of the one thing you were really excited about. It’s a good lesson, but completely unplanned, an interesting exercise to realise that the thing I feel is the most important thing, is not.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: John Parish, Jesca Hoop
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