Why You Should Go See PJ Harvey's 'Recording In Process'

Ticket are sparse, but this is an unmissable insight into making music

PJ Harvey’s new art installation, ‘Recording in Process’, sees the British musician and her band invite fans to watch them work on their new album through a one-way glass box at London’s Somerset House.

Tickets sold out immediately, prompting the release of additional 45 minute slots yesterday. They have sold out too.

As one of the media outlets lucky enough to be invited to a preview of the show earlier this week, it’s easy to understand the appeal of Harvey’s public experiment with her ninth album.

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Watching her and the band in a fully functioning studio is strangely thrilling and, for any music fan, utterly fascinating.

For the first ten minutes we just earwigged in on a discussion about a snare drum, reminding you that rock and roll can be as much about the mundane, minute details as any other job.

Then Harvey stood and began singing a couple of lines from a new track called 'Near The Memorials To Vietnam and Lincoln' (which sounded as though it could have came from 2011’s mesmerising Let England Shake). Her voice – lulling on record, cajoling live – takes on a different quality in the studio, summing up why seeing ‘Recording In Progress’ feels like such a unique privilege.

With demand for exceeding all expectation, there is a chance yet more tickets will be released for a show that is supposed to end on 14 February. We recommend you beg, borrow or steal to get yours.

PJ Harvey, Recording in Process, somersethouse.org.uk, 16 Jan – 14 Feb. Tuesday to Friday 11.00, 13.00, 15.00 & 18.00, Saturdays 13.00, 15.00 & 17.00, sound by Bowers & Wilkins