Pulp. Out of time, out of convention
What was the difference between the first Pulp recital after a long break and their festival performances? Of the entire setlist of the Brixton concert, which included eighteen songs, only ten were sounded four days earlier at the Reading 2011 festival.
In London, Jarvis Cocker after the first song said that he was slightly tired of playing more or less the same thing, and that he would take advantage of the opportunity provided to turn everything upside down. Used it.
The last few months have reminded that if you need concerts with surprises, this is to the Pulp frontman. Each song is still a separate number in which it uses the maximum possible means of conveying emotions: where the sound ends, it is continued by Jarvis’ unique gestures, and, flying off his fingers, go into the audience to return with applause and be caught in a loop abruptly thrown microphone cord. A bewitching sight.
Jarvis, as you know, does not mind going to talk tactfully with the front rows, when he then, pretty shabby with greedy hands of his fans, climbs back onto the stage, somersaulting backwards, he cannot believe that he is fifty, and, well, fifty. But for him, it seemed as if there had not been a group of years without performances. He just continues from the moment where he stopped and was distracted by two solo albums and a couple of side projects last time. And be sure that what he thinks of at one concert will not be repeated at the next.
Jarvis is unchanging in his variability, but he made it possible for the public to forget that some of his actions are as extravagant as the texts. And an illusion created by himself when he secured the reputation of a serious settled down master of the British scene: always in an invariably strict suit, hosted by the BBC, the author of an upcoming publication book who went out with a cane in the guise of a teacher a couple of years ago at one of the award ceremonies “NME” Jarvis – remains an illusion. In fact, he is still sharp and unpredictable. A minor technical malfunction – and the internal perfectionist instantly turns the artist into a practically despoting technician with a despot, a piece of equipment flies into the crowd with the help of a still elegant, but certainly ill-conceived boot kick, and a blow is heard.
Only after the song, having slightly calmed down, Jarvis will turn around in that part of the hall and gently ask, “I hit you? Oh, I’m sorry. I have a disgusting character.” This character also forces him to attack his own colleagues in the group, explaining to them in a rather harsh manner that while he, Jarvis, has not finished speaking, and he very often alternates his songs with comments, you can’t start playing, not at all not allowed. And even if he later kisses the offending Mark on the top of his head, and before Steve kneels in a thank you gesture in front of the final main set of “Common People”, he will not correct the impression. Here Jarvis runs the show, this is his creation, his presentation, and decides how, what, in what order, and even how long each note will be, only he.
In fairness – a sense of style never fails him, as a result of turning the Pulp concert into a supernaturally balanced, intuitively verified to the smallest detail, which does not allow to take away for a second the look from the stage of the show. Otherwise, just at the moment when you want to look around the legendary hall, everything on the stage will change dramatically with such speed that you will feel forgotten at the previous stage and you will have to emotionally catch up.
And Jarvis does not expect anyone and continues to present songs to the public one after another, about which even the most optimistic fans could not dream of a live performance at the time of the announcement of Pulp reunion last fall. But these songs know.
There are people in the audience who proudly came in T-shirts from the 1995 Glastonbury festival, where Pulp were headlining. And when Jarvis asks if anyone at their previous concert at Brixton Academy more than ten years ago, the audience responds with such a powerful roar that even he, well aware of his own popularity in England and the significance of what is happening in the audience tonight for the old guard of fans, Pulp, looking around the front rows, notices that the response was too loud. Some of those standing in front of him should not even have been born at that moment. It may be so, but doesn’t the presence at the concert, the tickets for which scattered in a matter of seconds, say a new generation of admirers of the group’s work, which appeared just in the period without concerts and new records, that what was created before is magnificent in form and the content of the material, more than deserved a triumphal one, as you can definitely summarize after the summer of Pulp festivals played back, return.