Down By The Water is the apotheosis of PJ Harvey's second album, To Bring You My Love. If this major artist shares, with some others present in my own private Pantheon, the taste for risk, an endless inventiveness and the capacity to reinvent a new character on each album, in addition she has a specific way to write with rage and crudity.
I saw her on stage for the first time at the very beginning of her career ; she'd been invited by Les Inrockuptibles to perform at their festival, which remain, 30 years later, an important place to discover the latest music. It was in 91 or 92, just a few months after or even before the release of Dry, that appeared like a storm in the very male Britpop landscape.
As I remember she was alone on stage, maybe with a drummer, gripping her guitar like a life buoy, in jeans and a tee-shirt. It was short, intense... dry like a whiplash. I'm sure that each person who saw it still remembers it.
Later she added some lyricism and a red glam dress with the same talent.