Pulp Scarborough Open Air Theatre review: Something rained! Wet weather fails to spoil historic show
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The heavens opened at Scarborough Open Air Theatre just ahead of Jarvis Cocker and co taking to the stage for a sell-out show packed with classics.
But the miserable conditions didn’t deflect away from an energetic and hit-heavy spectacle which saw pop’s unlikeliest sex symbol cavort around the stage in a dark green velvet suit, chucking grapes and Curly Wurlys to the crowd as he delivered anthem after anthem.
Pulp haven't actually released an album in 22 years – and of course, their much lauded classic LP Different Class has formed the basis for much of the material in this regrouping, plastered on t-shirts and posters as ‘this is what we do for an encore.’
As screens announced Pulp’s 530th concert, Jarvis rose dramatically from the stage, silhouetted against a moon backdrop before launching into a breathy opener of I Spy, backed of course, with his signature angular dance moves.
And from then on, it was a non-stop journey back to the Britpop era of the 90s.
Mis-Shapes, a song about being true to yourself and not being afraid to stand out about the crowd, rings true today as it ever did, while the stomping Disco 2000, dropped early into the set, prompted a joyous singalong and some serious bouncing.
Dedicating Something Changed to the band’s Steve Mackey, who died earlier this year, was appreciated by a sodden and reflective audience while Jarvis cheekily changed the lyrics of Sorted For E’s and Wizz to reflect his Yorkshire roots as he played on home soil.
"This is history in the making,” he quipped as the band launched into Do You Remember The First Time?, remarking, “this actually is the first time. We’ve never played here before.”
Pink Glove saw Jarvis soliciting said item of clothing from an audience member, before more of his trademark slinky dance moves, defying his 59 years, as he leapt around the stage, sultrily climbing up a set of stairs, lying down on the stage on occasions and even sitting down with a drink in a lounger as he introduced This Is Hardcore.
A sprightly rendition of Babies was lapped up by the crowd, but of course, the biggest singalong and cheers came right at the finale, as they launched into the band’s bona fide anthem and true indie classic, Common People.
“We’ve got tto go now,” said Jarvis. “But thank you for helping us make history.”
It might have rained on their parade, but Pulp, despite their now infrequent visits to the music arena, are as brilliant, much-loved and as much-needed as they ever were.
Can we have another encore a little bit more history please Jarvis?