Watch PJ Harvey Dedicate A Song To Steve Albini At Primavera Sound

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When Steve Albini died last month, PJ Harvey, who recorded her 1993 classic Rid Of Me with Albini, contributed to a Guardian feature memorializing the legendary studio engineer. She also tweeted this message:

Meeting Steve Albini and working with him changed the course of my life. He taught me so much about music, and life. Steve was a great friend – wise, kind and generous. I am so grateful.

My thoughts are with him and his family and friends as we suffer his loss.

Saturday at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival, which named a stage in Albini’s honor, Harvey dedicated a song to him. “I would like to sing this next song in memory of Steve Albini,” Harvey told the crowd. “Steve should have been here for this festival, and it would be nice if you all think of him.” She proceeded to perform “The Desperate Kingdom Of Love” from 2004’s Uh Huh Her, which turned 20 years old on Friday. Watch the performance below, starting at the 50:41 mark.

Harvey also performed “Black Hearted Love” from 2009’s A Woman A Man Walked By for the first time in 15 years and only the second time ever:

Check out Harvey’s message in The Guardian below:

I wanted to work with Steve from the moment I heard Surfer Rosa by Pixies. I had never heard anything as powerfully moving, both emotionally and sonically, and knew I wanted to hear my songs within that sound – a sound so alive, it was as if you were there in the room while the blaze of emotion was taking place.

Steve spent the first day of our recording session pacing and measuring the live room at Pachyderm [studio in Minnesota]. He would stand and look at the room a long time from different positions, intermittently clapping his hands. The band and I came and went, but Steve stayed from dawn till the late evening, absorbing and feeling the “shape” of the room, and learning what it could give him. I think we knew instinctively to leave Steve alone in the space to find what he was looking for.

He re-tuned Rob Ellis’s drum kit so it would be enhanced by the room and sing with it. He placed microphones in carefully measured positions to catch and open as sound met them at certain volumes. He set up our amps and guitars in the places he knew best for the room and the types of players we were.

He was driven. Driven to explore and learn from sound and space, but also mysteriously aligned with it in a way I didn’t quite understand, but knew to respect and try to learn from. He was an alchemist: patient, methodical, sensitive. Ready to capture the moment when it came. Work was hard and long as we all reached for something he knew would appear, and it did.

This intensity was offset by pauses when Steve might set his feet on fire. He was a funny man as well as being kind, intelligent and charming. I was drawn to him and his mystery, and my sadness at his death makes me realise how much I valued and loved this man. I feel lucky to have walked alongside him for a short while on this earth.