So It Started There - Tell us where 'It Started' for you

To celebrate Nick Banks' upcoming autobiography So It Started There we would like you to tell us where 'It Started' for you. What was your first Pulp single or album? Do you still have it? Where did you first see Pulp play live? What other memories do you have of how you discovered Pulp? Contributions will be published on this page.

Nick Banks has kindly shared his own where 'It Started' memories here.

Nick's autobiography was published in paperback and a special hardback edition on 28th September 2023 by Omnibus Press. The hardback edition is limited to 1,000 copies and, if ordered direct from the publisher, includes the chance to win an original prop from the Common People music video. It can also be ordered from all the usual online and high street booksellers.

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Gary Wallis-Prior

First pulp gig, 1996, Wembley arena, it wasn’t long after the Michael Jackson incident at the Brits. The band came on stage and Jarvis said ‘ I hope you lot are gonna come and visit me in prison’
The place went mad!!
They were brilliant.
I’m off to Norway in august to see them again with my son who’s 16 and a pulp fan also
Must say I read Nick’s book and it’s great (my cover was different though, it features Jarvis as well)

Stan

1998. I was 32, disillusioned with empty partying, booze and questionable sex, coping with reduced expectations, bitter about the bad relationships I’d got myself into, just generally jaded. One day, browsing the new releases, I happened upon this CD with a rather unsettling cover.

I’d never heard of Pulp but decided to buy This Is Hardcore anyway, because of and in spite of that cover art. Looked dark, and I was in a dark place, so why not?

I had no idea how deeply I would relate to the music within but oh, did I ever. No need to be coping with fame, it still hit multiple bullseyes. I still love the album and think it’s incredibly insightful about just about everything it touches on, even though I don’t relate to it in the same way now.

I would soon devour the rest of Pulp’s music as they became an all-time favourite and, at times, a full-blown obsession. I’ve been fortunate enough to see them live three times. And I’ll gladly do it again.

Sabrina

I was (and still am) a huge comedy fan and I would often travel into the city to see comedy. The runner of one particular comedy room would collate incredible front-of-house playlists to play between acts. When I saw a show there one night, Common People played over the speakers, and I remember Shazam-ing it for later reference. I had never heard of Pulp before, they were popular in Australia, but never to the same extent as in the UK. I remember hearing Disco 2000 and Babies play later that night, and thinking they must be by the same band as that first song, because they all had the same unique vocals.

That was it with Pulp until several months passed, and Melbourne was in lockdown, and I decided to delve into their discography on Spotify. I started with Different Class, then moved on to His N Hers. The frightening nature of domestic interiors felt like an especially pertinent subject matter when I couldn't leave the house for more than an hour a day. I would sit in the dark in the …

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Martin

Sixth form, 1993. St Etienne were touring So Tough, and playing Portsmouth Southsea Pier. A gang of us piled in a car and we set off on the 40 mile trip along the south coast from Dorset. The gig was memorable for one reason only - the support band. Some lanky fella who sang about women and babies. The singer cracked a few jokes, and had to fill a bit of time when the keyboard didn’t work. I was smitten. Went home and ordered whatever was available from the record shop - Razamatazz and Babies on 12”.

Christina

I worked for HMV in the 90s, I'd vaguely heard them and then my collegue put on His n Hers and she read the lyrics at the counter, then the rest is history. First gig well I saw a tiny bit of the 94 Glastonbury set. Missed the 95 one as I was pissed. Didn't see them properly until 98 I think! 40 odd gigs later.. (including jarvis solo and relaxed muscle etc...)

Kevin (hawalius1)

It was Disco 2000, played repeatedly on the Radio 1 breakfast show, which I listened to from my parents’ kitchen every weekday as I got myself ready for school... it was like nothing I'd ever heard before, the lyrics and the delivery sounded like they had been extracted from my mind - it was like music made just for me! I have the memory that this was before Different Class had been released, and they were playing it from the album preview just because they thought it was a great tune... I remember being surprised and delighted when - seemingly ages later - it was announced as a single. By that point I'd bought the album (to get that song) and absolutely devoured it. Everyone seemed to be talking about them, about which songs were best, and all that. I caught a repeat of Glastonbury '95 on the radio one night, which I managed to tape most of, and that became my textbook for exploring further back into their catalogue ("oh right, that's where Babies fits in"). I bought everything they released …

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Johnathon Parkins

I think I was around fiften, and this guy at school - Sean, I think - was now I realise doing a very good cosplay of Jarvis at school. Talkig to Sean he played me the hits, and on my little mp3 player I managed to download 20 songs. I was hooked, and I devoured everything. When they reformed in 2011 I saw them so mnay times, in Hyde Park I cried and rang my girlfriend in all the confetti and was just so happy.

Bennie

I was a goth in high school, so naturally I got picked on a bit. I had been meaning to listen to Pulp properly for a few years, but I suppose there reached a point in school where’d been picked on a bit too much, and I suppose I thought “Ah, these lot are weirdos like me. They’ll get it.” And so I listened to Different Class for the first time. I ended up becoming obsessed. It was the best decision I have ever made, and I met the love of my life as a result of it. I’ll be moving across the country to live with her next year, all because of Pulp.

Mae

It started two years ago (only!). I was cleaning my appartment and listening to some songs on Spotify when that weird, gloomy, orchestral song started. It catched my attention very quickly, especially when the lyrics kicked in; I was thinking "oh that's the kind of songs I like, it has such a strong narrative!". It was This Is Hardcore, and still to this day, I think it was the best way to get to know Pulp, I was surprised by how different every song was from another, and that changed my opinion on some kind of music I thought I disliked!

Then I learned about the band, started watching lots and lots of live stuff and they quickly became my number one on the list of bands I wanted to see live (so it was like a miracle when they announced very quickly that they were touring again this year!!). Got my tickets for Sheffield on the 14th, and waited patiently for july. The little cherry on top to this whole experience was when it was just on the eve of the gig, I won a ride on the now famous …

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Macks

I listened to Common People at Glastonbury in about 2021 because I thought it was James Acaster in the thumbnail. Then, I got really into Common People and Disco 2000 in around November 2022. I forgot entirely about Pulp until February 2023 when I was trying to impress a girl I liked. This led to me listening to Different Class, and then, at the advice of my maths teacher, His'n'Hers. Then, from then onwards, I listened to more and more Pulp, rounding out their discography, and eventually buying every album and CD single officially released by Pulp on CD!

'Lipglossed' (Sam)

Well, it started, I suppose, like it must for many: I listened to Common People, one day in 2020, and got really into it, and kept on replaying to it, bouncing around the living room; and not much later, I listened to Disco 2000 and the same thing happened, and it got caught in my brain... and then it was the emotional rush of Do You Remember the First Time? and I was hooked. Underwear too. And it took a little longer for me to revisit Pulp, but in my first autumn at university, there waiting for me were Babies and Lipgloss and Mis-Shapes, the next summer was Bar Italia, Pink Glove, Acrylic Afternoons, She's a Lady, This Is Hardcore, Sunrise, Razzmatazz, I Want You, Joyriders and all the rest. It was a slow drip-feed, working my way through their discography - and it started a love affair that continues to this day.

Mark

It was spring 1994, I was 15. I kind of had one foot in the indie world (Kingmaker!) but hadn't quite gone all-in yet - I was probably still picking up second-hand Tears for Fears and Roxy Music albums at the car boot.

But my best friend at the time (thanks Ian) kept on going on about this amazing band he'd heard called Pulp, and despite my weird resistance eventually lent me his tapes of Intro and His'n'Hers. I wasn't totally sold at first, but after a few spins they started working their way in, especially lyrically: "the sun rose from the gasometers at 6.30am" still has to be one of the all-time great opening lines, and not one you were likely to hear on a Bryan Ferry record anytime soon.

I think the real hook for me was that they were somehow depicting exciting things happening in a very believable world. Those songs with their tales of love, sex and existential drama against a backdrop of rainy bus journeys, drab suburbia, stupid boys and all the rest weren't set in the exact …

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Christopher Schulz

Photo submitted by Christopher Schulz

In 1996 I was only 14, living in Phoenix, AZ, USA (Pulp wasn't well known in the Arizona desert). I saw Trainspotting and was obsessed with the soundtrack. Went out and bought it immediately. My favorite track was Mile End. I thought, this song is so great that I've got to find more from this band, so I went out and bout Different Class. I had no connection apart from Mile End, so Common People was just one of 12 tracks. The entire album was glorious. No song was better than the other. Just 53 perfect minutes. I pretty much stopped listening to anything else. It replaced Never Mind the Bullocks, Here's the Sex Pistols as my favorite album (I didn't even realize the Chris Thomas connection until some years later). Then I started working my way backwards through their catalog. A friend and I used to drive …

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Cecilia

Photo submitted by Cecilia

On 4 August 2015, back when Tumblr was popular, I posted a few screens from the Pulp:a film about Life, Death and Supermarkets movie, and I wrote: I fell for this, and I am only twenty years late.
That feeling is still very much with me today, but at least we got our very special 2023 summer.
Many summers before the summer of the 2023 encore, I was a teen and, as a teen, I was terrified by Jarvis Cocker. This is Hardcore came out when I was 14, for months his unimpressed grin and his spectacled supercool gaze stared at me from every music magazine my newsagent let me go through in my hunt for photos of some other artists. I knew that the album cover was controversial, dirty even, but I didn’t get why. I didn’t ask my mum, I bet she would have been delighted by my pure ignorance. So, no it didn’t start there.
It …

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Angie S

I’m very late to the Pulp party. Growing up in the U.S., I had never knowingly heard a Pulp song until I was 32, in 2018. It was “The Fear.” If anything could sum up the feelings of being in my early 30s, this cheeky-yet all-too-relatable lyrics of this song did the trick. “And when you're no longer searching for beauty or love
Just some kind of life with the edges taken off,” was the most relatable thing I could have possibly heard at that time where I beginning the slide downhill toward middle age, in a country seemingly on the brink of fascism, on a seemingly doomed planet. Who was this band? I began to research. I found “Common People,” and was just delighted by the wit, the snark, the sarcasm. I barreled into Pulp at full force. Different Class was so relevant that I could time my ride home from work that, if I started “Mis-shapes” in the parking lot, I would pass by boss’s house at the lines, “ What's the point in being rich
If you can't think what to do with it?
'Cause you're …

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Chris Cook

From a small northern town. Watching 2100 hrs on mtv, whilst parents were out, in the early 90’s a video and song came on that i instantly connected with. A dangly geeky guy, singing a jangly punching song. ‘Remember that band name’, i promised myself. A couple of months later, uni started, left home. City record shops abundant.

I hunted for that song. Found it; spending a fifth of my weekly allowance it.

Made a friend in a lecture. She was from sheffield. We both now had a cool secret that we could both share.

By the third year everyone was in on it.

Hugomrtnzz

Photo submitted by Hugomrtnzz

Back in 2019, I discovered pulp thanks to my father, who was watching the MTV channel with music from the 90s and suddenly the great Common People video appeared. I was quite amazed by the song and later I started looking for information about the band. But it wasn't until September 2021 that my obsession with this group exploded, and I started listening to all the albums, one by one. Something curious is that there was not a single song that I disliked. Without any doubt, the album that fascinated me the most was the majestic "it" from 1983, which to this day is my most listened album of all time (I want to be buried with my vinyl copy). My first pulp item was the single by They Suffocate At Night (12") and from there I got the albums. My love for the group was so great that I even ended …

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J

Photo submitted by J

We saw Mis Shapes TOTP 1995. My brother bought DC on tape then. I still have it. If the house was on fire I'd save that. I vividly remember jumping 'round the bedroom with my brother and cousin miming to DC with the sweeping brush as a mic stand, tin whistles as drum sticks for air drums, and a snooker cue as a guitar. We got mad into Pulp. Bunking off school to sit in the pub playing Disco 2000 on the jukebox while the lads played pool. Great days. Walking back from the gig this June in Dublin we were reminiscing about the people we met on the way to our first gig in 1996 in Dublin. Those girls in the minibus holding the poster of Jarvis up at the window and us pointing to our Pulp t-shirts and waving, were you there this year too? I don't know what life is or what music is but I know it's been a better life and world …

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Rachel C

I grew up in Chesterfield and used to go to Gotham City, it was the highlight of my week. Pulp played there on 10th July 1985 so yes, it started there for me but I can only just remember the first time. My boyfriend of the time Peter Boam was the support act. I'd met him a few months before and never realised until a few years ago that he had actually played in Pulp before I met him.

Emma Jaggard

Photo submitted by Emma Jaggard

My first Pulp concert was at The Forum London 1995 and it was electric, my dad gave me extra money in case I lost my train ticket, but I spent it on a tour t shirt!! I remember getting to the front and dancing my socks off and feeling I belonged! That year most of my school friends still had posters of Take That and such on their walls, and couldn’t get my taste in music at all as I had Pulp, Suede and Pearl Jam, blasting out of my JVC ghetto blaster. It really was a year where I found my own taste in music, cut to 2023 and I did the same at the Hammersmith Apollo, still felt that same buzz and still felt like a teenager. What a great band, and Jarvis is just genius, imaging having a coffee with him and chatting about life over a fruit scone or two! I have no phot evidence of that time unfortunately but …

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Joe Mac

It was 4am round about the time Glastonbury is usually shown on the telly but it was in lockdown. As glastonbury had been cancelled, they put on a number of archival stuff such as concerts and documentaries. Anyway, I remember watching one half asleep and a song called Common People had appeared on my TV. It woke up and it had my full attention whilst my eyes were glued to the telly. Needless to say, it was the greatest 7 minutes of TV i’ve ever watched in my life and I’d give anything back to experience watching that song from the start.
This began my obsession and I immediately rummaged through my dads cd singles collection to find all the Pulp i could get. He only had the Disco 2000 single and Sorted single but nonetheless was more than enough to kick start it.
Then in Mid 2021 , I fell into a full blown Pulp obsession which i expected to get out of within a few months. As of writing this, i’m still well into it and show no signs of getting out. So i guess it started there…

Ester

Do I? I could tell you every detail about what I was doing, down to the clothing I was wearing. It was the 6th February 2019, around 6:30pm. I was drinking a hot chocolate, about to cram in some more revision as I was a sixth form student at the time. Out of nowhere, I got a message from someone I had never talked to, but I was ‘mutuals’ with on Twitter. They had sent me the Spotify link to Common People. “Heres a music suggestion for you…”

Now, I have no idea how Pulp had passed me by. I had forced myself into liking other Britpop bands my Britpop obsessed friends liked, as seemed the cool thing to do. I knew nothing before I first hit that play button, and that made it all the more special.

The only way I can describe how it was to hear Common People for the first time was like a head-rush on a fast paced rollercoaster downward spiral. I truly felt completely taken aback. I have never forgotten how I froze in my chair whilst hearing the ‘you’ll never understand…’ line for the first …

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Kristen

Photo submitted by Kristen

Theres the first' time and then theres the proper time for me. So for the first time I have this memory of sitting on the corner of my parents coffee table watching Rage (long running Australian music video show) and there was this song / video which I later learn is 'Disco 2000'. There's some guy singing in a TV screen and theres lots of colours and patterns and its super catchy. 'Charmless Man' by blur was also another song that sort of caught my ear but at this point pop music has not really registered just yet. Fast forward to late 1998. I'm now obsessed with anything Triple J and 'alternative' and any bands appearing on another Australian TV show called 'Recovery'. I religiously tape Triple J's Net 50 on a Saturday night and this is where I capture …

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Naomi

My ex used to have a habit of playing the first 30 seconds of a song, before moving on to the next song he was excited for me to hear. Babies was one of the first he ever played all the way through. I remember instantly loving it. I still get a thrill from hearing the opening bars. One of my favourite memories before we went our separate ways, was getting over a seriously rough time & holding hands dancing to I love life live at the Reading festival. This year I have a new memory of dancing to Pulp in a field in North London with my mates, watching the sun go down.

Gayle

I was 16 when different class was released and listened to it on repeat. I first saw pulp live at V96 in Warrington and was hooked. Fast forward 27 years and I've taken my 15 year old daughter to Warrington, Manchester and Hammersmith this summer. It's been amazing to share the experience with her and see how much she loves the music.

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Page last modified on October 03, 2023, at 09:08 AM