"Give me some warmth", teases Jarvis Cocker, fashion-defying front man and, if you will, 'auteur' of Pulp, the Sheffield five-piece who balance precariously on the hairline between eccentricity and madness. Sporting a provocative spangly jumper pilfered from Crystal Tipps' wardrobe, and a pair of 'challenging' slacks, Jarvis is a man to make even Mark E Smith appear to be a regular client of the world's couture houses.
This is an important night. A new single is currently heading towards your local record emporium, and it is effectively, the Pulp 'comeback' following Jarvis' relocation to London.
Five years ago. you'd know Pulp were playing when the local supermarket suddenly ran out of Bacofoil and crêpe paper was harder to come by than an off licence in Riyadh. Nowadays, it's different. Pulp have concentrated more on stage presence than onstage presentation.
Imagine Engelbert Humperdinck playing with The Fall. Now relax a little more, and think of Vanessa Paradis playing with a child's keyboards, a psychotic David Byrne stabbing at an electric violin whilst, and this is absolutely true, Gordon Banks' nephew nonchalantly slaps a curiously small drumkit.
Jarvis meanders through the Pulp back catalogue before introducing the forthcoming Fire single, 'My Legendary Girlfriend', an odd song with a sublime '60s film score chorus. They leave us with, perhaps, the Pulp classic, 'Little Girl (With Blue Eyes)', the archetype of the Cocker canon. A simple, captivating melody concealing a disturbing tale of incest, death and despair.
Unlike the laboured 'we are weird' image of World Of Twist, Pulp are the real McCoy, a genuine oddity.