PJ Harvey (full name Polly Jean Harvey) was born in 1969 in Bridport, England. Her parents loved music and often arranged parties, during which the girl got a chance to listen to different genres and fall in love with jazz, blues, and rock.
PJ attended high school in the neighboring town, where she learned how to play the saxophone and became a part of the local group Bologna. Later, Harvey was introduced to a folk singer Steve Knightly, who taught her how to play the guitar. When the aspiring artist was just 8 years old, she got a chance to perform with a duo called Polekats. At about the same time, Polly started writing her first songs.
In 1988, Harvey joined a Bristol band Automatic Dlamini. She played the saxophone and the guitar. The young woman performed with the group during its tours. Together, they gave concerts all over Europe. In 1989 and 1990, the band was recording its second LP, Here Catch, Shouted His Father. Harvey participated in the process. Unfortunately, the album was never released. Polly remembers her time with Automatic Dlamini with pleasure. She believes that working with them gave her a priceless experience of performing in front of a big audience and helped hone the guitar playing skills.
In January 1991, Harvey decided to form her own band. After spending some time trying to find a suitable name, she settled for the shortened version of her own – PJ Harvey. Other members of the group were Rob Ellis and Ian Oliver. Both used to be part of Automatic Dlamini. Later, Oliver returned to Automatic Dlamini and was replaced by Steve Vaughan. The group arranged its first performance in the local venue, Charmouth Village Hall. It turned into a big failure. The listeners left before the concert was over.