COURAGE is the key word. Pulp throw out sudden drum rumbles and savage vioiin wails, lazy guitar twiddles and keyboard stabs, all wrapped around vocals which range from a mumble to a scream. It's a warped cabaret of psychedelia, confusing when proper attention is not paid.
But within the experimental complexities are some of the sweetest melodies and incisive lyrics ever written. Ever. "Don't You Want Me Anymore?" - a wild, reversed "24 Hours From Tulsa" - and "Master Of The Universe" are fine examples of their extremes of tension: pure, provocative and precise bewitchments, disturbing and delightful at exactly the same time. Pulp are the ideal thing to clutch to the heart at times of joy and sorrow.
Colenso Parade are more accessible, their controls more obvious, even if it was difficult to hear the bass throb for the first few songs. Thankfully somebody turned a knob before the old favourite "Down By The River". The lightweight warrior beat of Colenso Parade, as with their neighbours Blue in Heaven, is not an unpleasant experience, but its effectiveness is limited. The danger of becoming a band capable of wonderful singles but tedious albums and live sets lurks nearby. Perhaps they should take a lesson from Pulp.
Courage is the key word.
Strolling on with all the visual impact of a bar mitzvah band from the Depression, Pulp are getting over a dormant interlude based around singer Jarvis Cocker's decision to freefall out of a window and spend the early part of the year in a wheelchair. They are just about to release a single and a long player – their first vinyl output for over a year. This, their first appearance in the capital in a similar period, would indicate that this newfound proliferation could see them as quite a force in the year to come.
Determinedly low-key in appearance and sound, they're now mining a lugubrious Eastern European vein. It's a Balkan beat without the cosmic overtones of 3 Mustaphas 3 and you could well imagine them breaking into the 'Harry Lime Theme' if they owned a zither and it wasn't a little too cheerful. Cocker's awkward yet mannered Scott Walkerish voice and his baiting of the audience, combined with Russell Senior's morosely busy violin, set an intensely melancholic mood which recalls any low-life tableau from Weimar Germany onwards.
The strength of this band was emphasised when they turned in a consistently compelling set without including their brilliant one time single 'Little Girl (with Blue Eyes)'. You should put this lot on your best-sellers list and that's no pulp fiction.
There are no known recordings.