Seeing as this weekend has been my first free weekend since last October, I thought I’d celebrate the end of my MA watching Pulp’s performance at Reading/Leeds on the telly and drinking a bottle of bargain-bin wine. Once upon a time I would have been watching them in a muddy field, dirt and glitter in my crimplene suit.
The first time I saw Pulp was in 1992. They were just about to get famous, really. I was a member of Pulp People, the greatest fan club that ever existed, and the only fan club I have ever been a member of. I still have a piece of Jarvis Cocker’s Freeman strides, that he cut up and sent to every one of us for xmas one year. Jarvis was a proper pop star.
So it’s been a bit weird watching them play again this weekend. I hate all that nostalgia stuff, sure it was fine in the nineties, but when Britpop (a nostalgia movement in itself) starts being something you get nostalgic for, then you wonder if pop has finally eaten itself.
However, despite all my moaning, I watched Pulp this weekend and was reminded of how utterly brilliant they were. God knows I’ve seen them enough, my personal favourite was at The Duchess in 1993. I saw them at the Ally Pally with Blur and Elastica, but the small gigs stick in my mind as the best. Hats off to them for their performance this weekend. Jarvis nailed it. He showed us how rubbish modern pop stars really are. Alex Turner, in comparison, is a complete and utter bore. Like Morrissey, Jarvis was a pop star by accident. And I think that’s why I love him so much. Most of the bands out there right now have no personality. They are the kind of bands that enter music as a business decision. A little part of me dies every time I see The Killers on TV.
As for the image above, it is an etching by my friend Lisa Cradduck. Lisa did the illustrations for both Brutalist publications and has also done the artwork on my Blackheath Books chapbooks. She has done a new series of 6 etchings for Owen Hatherley’s book of Pulp essays, Uncommon, which is published by Zero Books. This is one of my favourites. I can’t work out how to put all of them on here as a slideshow, some of them are rather saucy though. If you would like to buy one of the etchings, drop me an email at the usual address. They are £50 each, and are limited, signed editions of 100. The whole set is also available to pre-order at £250. Lisa is about to head off to Venice on a residency, but if you’d like to see the rest of the pictures, email me, and I’ll send them to you…