18th February 1988 - Camden Falcon, London (live)


  • Date: Thursday, 18th February 1988
  • Event: Babylon Revisited
  • Venue: Camden Falcon
  • Location: London


NME, 5th March 1988:

It has been known for Jarvis Cocker to be wheeled on stage in a bathchair before. The only props tonight were a pair of maracas and a tin foil backdrop but there was no lack of play acting.

Jarvis lurches and leaps like Freddie Garrity with contact lenses, backed by an electric violin, toytown organ and... isn't that Suggs on drums?

Pulp music sounds like nothing you've ever heard. At their best, songs like 'Love Is Blind' are like the epics you invent in your head on the way home from the pub. Pulp perform them in a similarly inebriated manner.

At other times though, their sense of theatre gets the better of them - remember DAF's 'Kebab Traume"? 'Well it doesn't mean that in English but it often sounded like the singer was having a kebab trauma tonight. Belching and retching noises do not make for top entertainment now, do they?

In Jarvis's book, love is a never ending David Lynch film — songs like 'Going Back To Find Her' are as black as pitch. Pulp want to be as horribly compelling as a circus freakshow. Taking 'Yellow River', The Devil Went Down To Georgia' and Leonard Cohen for inspiration they come across like an amateur dramatic society hamming it up deliberately to upset the vicar.

An all new set meant the songs were unfamiliar to even the faithful few who turned up. The forthcoming FON single should win them a few more converts but judging by tonight's performance Pulp would be wise to enter the Eurovision Song Contest. I kid you not, they could win it.

Bob Stanley

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Sounds, 5th March 1988:

In an ideal world Pulp would already be serenading kings and queens, taking up residencies on Broadway and returning their OBEs; world domination takes time, that's all...

Pulp have been around a good few years, the brainchild of singer/songwriter Jarvis, a man blessed with an acrid wit, a magnetic voice and a groinal trust that would shame David Lee Roth.

Pulp are rock burlesque, devious pop, folk horror, fairground fun. They are glamorous tack, cheap but deep, and in this dingy pub backroom Pulp glowed darkly with their own peculiar class. Their imminent new single, 'Death Goes To The Disco' is a singalong killer of huge proportions.

"You have such a beautiful body..." croons Jarvis, his voice sounding like death personified; if anyone can make the Grim Reaper a star on Top Of The Pops then Jarvis can. Another new song 'Rattlesnake', is a mad Cossack stomp dominated by frenzied violin, the opposite side of Pulp to that of the dreamy cloud of 'Down By The River'.

Pulp are the most unlikely sex machine you'll ever hear. Theirs is an innocent seduction, and beneath it all there's a wry smile.

"Reckon they make it up as they go along," mumbled Mr Flat Cap drunkenly in the toilets. "I mean, what's it all about?"

What indeed? There really is far too much crap doing the rounds, you know, but Pulp are simply splendid.

Neil Perry

(View as image)


There are no known recordings.

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