Perennial favorites Pulp to end the weekend. In an extended excerpt of a concert from 1994 at Aston Villa Park for BBC Radio 1.
It took them forever to reach the audience – they had a string of perhaps not dismal failures, certainly not game-changers as far as sales went. But persistence and a label that had faith and they eventually succeeded in becoming one of the best bands to come out of the 90s; one that became closely associated with Brit-Pop but who had lot more going for them. They were a band who struck more than the average number of sympathetic chords. You could call it cleverly crafted, insidiously well produced and razor sharp in its observations. It was a band that hit on all of those cylinders, and more.
Jarvis Cocker founded “Arabacus Pulp” (named after a tradable commodity he learned about in an economics class) at the age of 15 while he was still at The City School of Sheffield. After numerous line-up changes, and shortening the name to “Pulp”, the band eventually found fame in the 1990s with the success of the albums His ‘n’ Hers (1994) and Different Class (1995). Cocker was Pulp’s frontman, and part of his trademark image was his glasses, which seemed to “stay magically on his face” no matter what antics he performed. This feat was achieved using “a huge rubber band round the back” of his glasses.
Pulp released two more albums (This Is Hardcore and We Love Life) to critical acclaim, though neither achieved the commercial success of Different Class. After releasing a greatest hits album, the band went on hiatus from 2003 to 2010, then returned to activity in 2011.
Cocker is also renowned for his wit and observations of the cultural scene. He was a frequent guest on TV shows in the 1990s, and hosted an art series for Channel 4 – “Journeys into the Outside”. In the series, he took a trip across the globe, meeting so-called “outsider artists”, people who create wacky and wonderful works of art, trying to understand what compelled them to do so. Cocker’s penchant for TV appearances was reflected in a parody of “Common People” (“Showbiz People”) which was featured on the satirical comedy show Spitting Image in 1996.
This concert comes just before the release of A Different Class and in fact the numbers on this clip are new to the audience, having never heard them before. Testing the waters – but had they known this would be the breakthrough album, they may have reacted differently.
At any rate – hit the play button and crank it up and get read for what is sure to be an insane week.