July 3 2011. The day I witnessed Pulp live.
Exactly 1 week after moving to London, I stood in Hyde Park at sunset witnessing one of my greatest heroes Jarvis Cocker – he is not Jesus though he has the same initials… he is the man who stays home and does the dishes – and Pulp perform the one track I thought I’d never have the privilege of seeing live. Sunrise isn’t exactly a radio pop hit: it lacks Jarvis’s trademark sexually-depraved, lascivious narrative and the We Love Life album was unfortunately somewhat disregarded in Pulp’s discography (and this festival set).
This month has been emotionally charged: moving to the other side of the world, leaving my friends, job and home, seeing my family for the first time in over a decade, being stranded in Shanghai, having my wallet stolen, effectively being homeless, and starting life anew… during all of which I had remained relatively level-headed… but the orchestral climax of Sunrise was the point at which all that reality, emotion, and a significant number of tears burst forth.
Last year I found a 12″ single of Sunrise in a basement record store in Osaka. After bringing it home and placing it on the vinyl player I was devastated to discover it was a remix version: the Middle Of The Road Mix. Utter. Sacrilege.
Live however, the track achieved its destined pinnacle and quite simply had every punter in respectful awe.
The full Wireless 2011 Pulp setlist is as follows:
- Do You Remember The First Time?
- Pink Glove (“I am wearing a glove. What colour is it?“)
- Mile End (“Sorry those of you from the East End, I hear that stall over there has really great pizza.“)
- Something Changed (written whilst sitting in Hyde Park for 24 hours straight)
- Disco 2000
- Sorted For E’s And Whizz
- I Spy (“I’m coming to geeeeet youuuuu…“)
- Babies (dedicated to J.C.’s mother & 7 y/o son)
- Underwear (after sobering up in the taxi on the way home)
- This Is Hardcore (the eye of the storm)
- Bar Italia
- Common People
I’m inclined to complain that Different Class featured too heavily, as my personal favourite albums (possibly from any artist) are This Is Hardcore and We Love Life. It would have been stunning to witness I Love Life, Help The Aged, The Fear, It’s A Dirty World… or any number of others, especially A Little Soul which is the most soulful and vulnerable declaration of self-disgust and desperation… in history.
There’s still time Jarvis… I’ll see your sexually charged slender limbs point into the audience twice more before the year is out. But for now… A Little Soul.