Hyde Park, Sunday 3rd July 2011.
I was only meant to be playing the role of taxi driver, but after most of the party dropped out, my wife talked me into going to Hyde Park to see Pulp with her. I wasn't really looking forward to it as I was expecting a 90 minute set with probably only a couple of songs I knew. I couldn't have been more wrong! There were only a couple of songs I didn't know!
We got to the festival just in time to catch Grace Jones. The best that can be said about her is that she has a great voice, but bad songs. She finished with a Roxy Music cover of Love Is The Drug and Slave to the Rhythm, so it wasn't all bad.
By the time Grace left the stage we'd been allocated some seats. Sometimes having a pregnant wife is an advantage!
I really wasn't expecting Pulp to do the big arena/festival thing either, but they did. They started with a big black curtain in front of the stage onto the back (stage side) of which they shone a lazer. A camera replayed what the lazer was writing to the audience via the large screens at the side of the stage: "Do you remember the first time?", "Are you ready?", "Again, are you ready?", etc. Then the curtain fell to the sound of streamers exploding into the crowd and there was Jarvis et al ripping through Do You Remember The First Time. From then on it was hit after hit including Sorted For Es And Whiz and Disco 2000.
I thought Jarvis would be too "cool" to stand on the monitors, but all he needed was a bass guitar and he could have been Steve Harris. He charmed the audience after every song proving what a great performer he is. The band was note perfect and the quality of the PA surprising.
Towards the end of the set Pulp did a couple of songs from the album that apparently followed Different Class. I could only describe them as Progressive Psychedelic Pop and really quite good, further proving what talented musicians they are. Then there was just time for a couple more hits, before the band, sensibly, didn’t waste time going off prior to an encore. Of course the final song was Common People, preceded by by a teasing description of St. Martin’s college form Cocker.
Was I impressed? Yes! Was I pleased I’d gone? Yes! Would I go to see Pulp again? Maybe.