Pulp re-live the first time at Pohoda 2011

Somewhere, somewhere in a airfield in Slovakia...

Photographer:Rosie Shaw

09 July 2011

Not so and Jarvis is fitfully in no mood to pass round the collection plate while resting on a sequin-covered laurel wreath. This is an arty, edgy performance that takes risks with the crowds enthusiam and affections.

Of course, the set´s got the staple hits and perhaps after the sonic bombshell of the opener, ‘Do You Remember The First Time?‘, the middle of a set might well be a bit flat. 

He livens up an acoustic ramble through ‘Something’s Changed‘ with a waltz into the front row and shining a torch in the faces of the crowd, singing sweetly to individuals picked at random.

He‘s already acknowledged P.B Shelley‘s 135th anniversary with a couple of quotes and it‘s palpable that much of the crowd simply don‘t know what he‘s on about – even when he‘s trying his Slovakian on them, it must be the Sheffield drawl.

But there is hardcore fandom here and a prancing Jarvis wiggling his derriere atop of the speaker stack is enough cause palpiltations for the front row.

No amount of Jarvis-follery is going to sway them from the party. By the time Mr Cocker is asking them to meet him at that fountain down the road, they are spiralling into the Cocker vortex and loving every second of the ride.

There‘s commendable bravery in this bombastic and clearly expensive show and Jarvis collects the adoration for it like a sponge - the set is heading, inexorably, inevitably, to one song, one verse, one line.

Wherever Pulp go from here, they will never escape the shackles of writing a song that is capable of uniting a crowd whether they be in Slovakia, China or on the green, green fields of Glastonbury – no not ‘Sorted for E’s and Whizz‘, which again seems a bit incongrous here.

So potent is the chorus of ‘Common People‘ that this beautiful crowd would have forgiven Jarvis anything. He introduces the band to muted applause,“oh, and I’m Jarvis and I sing", he concludes and the crowd drown his last word.

He‘s up to his old tricks again, the old dog and boy how we‘ve missed him.

By Jon Wright.


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