25th March 1998 - This Is Hardcore Launch Party (live)


  • Date: Wednesday, 25th March 1998
  • Event: This Is Hardcore launch party
  • Venue: Windows on the World, Hilton Hotel
  • Location: Park Lane, London

The party was invitation only.


  1. The Fear (live debut)
  2. Dishes (live debut)
  3. Party Hard (live debut)
  4. Help the Aged
  5. Seductive Barry
  6. This Is Hardcore


There are no known recordings.



Pulp Play Exclusive Party

Pulp premiered tracks from their new album, 'This Is Hardcore' at an exclusive party at London's Park Lane Hilton Hotel on March 25.

Playing live with a full line-up for the first time since the V96 festival and now without founder member Russell Senior, the band played six new songs, 'The Fear', 'Dishes', 'Party Hard', 'Help The Aged', 'Seductive Barry' and 'This Is Hardcore' in the Window On The World Piano Bar suite on the top floor of the plush London hotel.

Longpigs guitarist Richard Hawley played guitar alongside regular lead guitarist Mark Webber for the gig, although he is not thought to be joining the band permanently. Bassist Steve Mackey also made a departure from his regular job and took to record decks during 'Seductive Barry'.

Beforehand, a specially-commissioned short film, which featured an appearance from artist Tracey Emin was screened.

Stars in the invited 400-plus audience included Danny Goffey, Neil Hannon, model Sophie Dahl, Elastica's Donna and Justin, Massive Attack, Emma Anderson, Prodigy's Leeroy, plus television presenters Zoe Ball, Sara Cox and Jamie Theakston.

Neil Hannon was stunned by Pulp's performance, telling NME: "It was amazing! For such a huge band to be able to carry off new songs in a very small place, and before such a small cross-section of people, and to make it sound still so huge and ambitious, was great. That's the sign of true professionals. I'm their biggest fan now!"

The invite requested that guests dress in black and pink.

(View as image)

Melody Maker:

Pulp made their first live appearance of the year last Wednesday (March 25) at a highly unusual location: 28 floors above ground in the Windows On The World restaurant at the Hilton Hotel in London's Park Lane.

Living like common people was not on the agenda as, to a backdrop of spectacular views across London, a star-studded invited audience - including Zoe Ball, Neil Hannon, Cerys Matthews from Catatonia, Maxim from the Prodigy with girlfriend Sara Cox, model Sophie Dahl and Danny Goffey from Supergrass - scoffed canapés, supped drinks from a special Pulp cocktail list and saw an exclusive preview of six songs from their new album, "This Is Hardcore".

Guests were asked to dress "in black and pink" - although only Jarvis Cocker bothered to comply with this dress code, and then only courtesy of a tiny pink handkerchief protruding from his back pocket!

As he walked onstage, Jarvis enquired of the crowd: "Are you well? Well, you won't be in a minute..." before leading the band - now featuring Richard Hawley from Longpigs on additional guitar - into a superb version of "The Fear", the first track on the new LP, followed by "Dishes" and their David Bowie pastiche, "Party Hard" Ironically, Mr Bowie himself was invited to the soirée, although he wasn't actually spotted on the night.

The curious location and lack of "real" fans didn't stop Jarvis from running through his entire repertoire of fancy dance moves, or from cracking a joke or two. He acknowledged applause in German, asked: "Are you feeling high? Cos we're 28 floors up!" and introduced previous single "Help The Aged" as "a song about being really immature: It's called 'Help The Jarvis'."

While most of the songs received a poppier treatment than on the alburn, their version of "Seductive Barry" was more in line with the band's much-touted new "awkward" direction, as the constant screech of feedback sent some of the audience running for the sanctuary of the cocktail bar.

Things returned to normal for a final "This Is Hardcore", after which several people tried to shake Jarvis' hand as he left the stage. "Don't worry," he said, "I'll be out later, we're all friends, we're all on one level."

However, Jarvis was notable only by his absence from the dance floor during the after-show party, which went on until 3am. One of the last to leave - despite an early start in the morning - was Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Zoe Ball, who said: "Weren't they brilliant? I'm not too sure about the new album -I don't think I've listened to it enough yet - but Jarvis can't help being a pop star when he's onstage, can he? People keep telling me I should be in bed, but you can't go to bed when Pulp are on!"

Pulp's next scheduled live performance will be an outdoor show at London's FinsburyPark on July 25.

(View as image)

Related pages

Page last modified on October 09, 2011, at 10:25 PM