1st October 1995 - Barrowlands, Glasgow (live)


  • Date: Sunday, 1st October 1995
  • Venue: Barrowlands
  • Location: Glasgow

Different Class UK tour, supported by Minty.


Pat Kane in The Guardian, 3rd October 1995:

Listen carefully, and you can hear the distant rumble of the impending Brit-Pop backlash: Blur a bore, Oasis LP a let-down, the rest of them sounding tinny and derivative after six months' intense adoration... But before we all stampede into new pastures, let us mark some clear standards of excellence. On this showing, Pulp are the finest moment of the movement so far.

And, of course, it shouldn't work. How did these ramshackle alternative darlings – who've been rattling their biscuit-bin drums and scratching their art-violin on John Peel sessions for about a decade now – get to this pop plateau? Even those who have their doubts about the classic indie music-mix could exult when Pulp's Common People kept Michael Jackson's corporate comeback single from number one. But other than from patriotism, how do we defend this oh-so-familar scrunch of wordy suburban tales and lo-tech guitar kitsch against the pop future?

It's easy: by watching Jarvis Cocker, Pulp's frontman, for only five minutes on any stage. "So happy to be here, after all our summer festivals," he drawls, in a Sheffield baritone made for a Marmite voiceover. "At least this has a roof." Cocker's wit acts as a balm for their opening number and new single, Mis-shapes – a storm of garage Motown and wimp's revenge.

Jarvis, to every inch of his bone-thin, six-foot plus frame, is the über-wimp - militantly floppy, thrustingly saddo. He does fluttering, New Romantic hand-dances which would make you palpate with embarrassment if they weren't so confidently executed. He sings in a paper-thin English whine, punctuated with hammy sex-whispers, that should irritate you after one minute: the effect is to draw you into Cocker's world of northern lust and loneliness.

And Cocker by name, cocker by nature too. Part of the extreme fun of Pulp is witnessing this elongated history teacher spill out his sexual world-view - where spirit is expended in a waste of shame in "acrylic afternoons".

When Jarvis stands on his monitors and hisses "I spy a boy, a girl... I spy the worst thing in the world ", splaying his banana-bunch hand across his crotch and jerking wildly, he looks weird and wonderful as anything in recent British pop. But when his next comment is a request to the audience to send him right-sized trousers ("29 inch waist, 33 inch inside leg... not an easy measure"), you realise why Pulp represents the most judicious confection. More truly camp than Blur's Damon, yet more warm and prole-centric than the Oasis brothers, it's no wonder that Cocker is fighting off an alternative career as TV host.

The bubble may well be about to burst for Brit-Pop. But Pulp in Glasgow reminds us why it was worth inflating in the first place.


There are no known recordings.

Related pages

Page last modified on October 11, 2023, at 11:01 PM