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Jarvis Cocker attempts Welsh as Pulp pull out all the stops in Cardiff

13 Jul 2023 3 minute read
Jarvis Cocker’s Welsh crib sheet and the man himself at the CIA (Credit: @KulaBeth Twitter)

David Owens

Do you remember the first time?

With Pulp, Blur and Suede returning to the stage it’s fast becoming the second summer of Britpop.

However, if you were in the crowd for the eagerly anticipated Pulp show at the Cardiff International Arena last night, most of those of a certain vintage were too busy reliving their callow youths to contemplate the renaissance of one of the great highpoints of British music.

For many Jarvis Cocker and co were the undisputed stars of Britpop and in their frontman they had a showman who was the poster boy for the mis-shapes, the outsiders, and the freaks.

He once again demonstrated why age hasn’t dimmed him, or his beautifully unorthodox dance moves, bestriding the stage like the consummate entertainer he is.

No one quite does drama like Pulp and for the rapt crowd it was a joyful and playful romp through the band’s ’90s highpoints delivered with the fulsome accompaniment of exemplary band and sublime orchestra.

Meanwhile the crowd – everyone a backing singer – delivered a full throated rendition of the stardust setlist.

From Disco 2000, an emotional Something Changed, (dedicated to the late Steve Mackey), Sorted for E’s and Whizz, and Do You Remember the First Time? to Babies, Underwear and a climactic Common People, the audience roared every word of every song – a blissed choir on a musical high.

There was even a liberal sprinkling of attempted Welsh words by the wiry auteur; keeping up the Welsh theme the singer dedicated Do You Remember The First Time to Manic Street Preachers, recalling Pulp’s first gig in Cardiff at the uni in October 1992, appearing at the venue the same night as the Manics.

The post-match verdict on the 2023 incarnation of the band was ecstatic and for Pulp uber fan and Twitter user @KulaBeth, a night she will never forget, not least because she bagsied Jarvis’ Welsh crib sheet, took a pic of it, which was subsequently shared by Jarvis Cocker on his Instagram.

“I’m never coming down!” she told Nation Cymru, while explaining how she grabbed her prized possession. “The story is quite fun. I was on the barrier all night, as one does, and the security were being very picky about who they gave setlists to which made me sad.

“Then I noticed another piece of paper on the stage and pointed it out to security. The conversation was as follows:

“There’s a paper on the stage”

“That’s not setlist, that’s just got his writing on”

“Yes I definitely want that please!”

“And then I burst into tears and the rest is history!

“Jarvis sharing my picture was a lovely thing to wake up to.”

Posting Beth’s pic on his Instagram, Jarvis wrote: “Cardiff – forgive my phonetic attempts to communicate with you.

“I think the music got the ideas across better.

“You were great!”

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