This week we will take a look at one of the seminal Brit-Pop bands of the last 1/3 of the 20th Century. I admit I did not become a fan of theirs until their second to last album…This is Hardcore.
The band is Pulp.
Pulp are a rock band, formed in Sheffield, England in 1978, by then 15-year-old school boy Jarvis Cocker (vocals, guitar). They were originally known as “Arabacus Pulp,” but this was shortened a year later. The members of Pulp were all schoolmates attending City High School in Sheffield and supported fellow school band Crude in their first gigs. They cite their influences as David Bowie, The Cure, The Beatles and The Kinks.
They are most famous in the UK, where their blend of disco-influenced pop-rock coupled with the amusing down-to-earth kitchen-sink lyrics of front-man Jarvis Cocker saw them become popular during the mid 1990s. After their last album We Love Life (2001), the band entered into an extended hiatus, from which they have yet to emerge.
Some people may recognize the front man Jarvis Cocker from an appearance in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire … “writing and performing three tracks entitled “This is the Night”, “Do The Hippogriff” and “Magic Works”. He appeared briefly in the film as lead singer of the wizard pop act the Weird Sisters (unnamed in the film owing to a legal scuffle with real-life group the Wyrd Sisters). The fictitious group also featured Jonny Greenwood and Phil Selway from Radiohead, Steve Mackey from Pulp, Jason Buckle from Relaxed Muscle and Steve Claydon from Add N to (X).”
I had a brief encounter with Jarvis back in 1998 at London Heathrow Airport. 3 of my mates and I traveled to London for Spring Break that year (it was cheaper to fly there than to Florida). Jim – who introduced me to Pulp – noticed this tall gangly guy standing in the area waiting for cars looking confused. It was Jarvis. Jim went up to him and told him he was brilliant. Jarvis looked at him and said, “I don’t feel fuckin’ brilliant. I can’t find me driver.” We invited him to have coffee and he did. We chatted for like 2 minutes and he finally saw his driver and we parted. Jarvis had just taken the Red Eye from NYC where he was doing something for MTV.
Here is the video for This is Hardcore.