Saturday, 3 September 2011

Pulp at Brixton Academy

Pulp's recent gigs at the Brixton Academy proved absolutely glorious to hear the hits again. It was also touching to experience the crowd chant the lyrics in unison. Jarvis was irrepressible & threw even more impressive moves. A bit like the geography teacher at the school disco after a few sambucca's.

There was a fan letter read out on stage, a Mexican flag passed up to Jarvis & even an onstage spat between Cocker & Mark Webber which was, luckily, masked by some very bad front of house sound.

Pulp were one of the 1st bands I really fell in love with as a kid. 'Common People,' was the first 7" I bought, even though I had very little grasp over the song's political & defiant meaning.
I even discovered Performance Art legends, Minty, on a BBC documentary called 'No Sleep to Sheffield,' who were supporting Pulp on tour at the time.
I was later adopted by Minty & ran away to join the Avant Garde Circus….But that's another story altogether.

The song that had a renewed impact on me was 'Mis-Shapes,' which stormed the charts at No.1

The lyrics to 'Mis-shapes,' have been definitive of my life & to many of my friends. It's universal message transcends race, class, gender & sexuality in a unique way that I've yet to hear rival in another pop song.

I did feel a tear coming on during the lyrics, 'There won't be fighting in the streets, revenge is gonna be so sweet.'

Off course with the recent London riots in August 2011, there's been no escaping the fighting on the streets. The roots of the riots are complex but in the moment they seemed to be an act of blind rage, & hell bent on total destruction.
Instead of fighting for individuality & change, the looting seemed symbolic of a society that's gone mad to conform through consumer goods.

I mention all this because too many pop songs these days focus on brandishing labels & faux lifestyles, that a song like 'Mis-Shapes,' actively contradicts.

Since Pulp were in their hey-day, the worlds of music & communication have been totally revolutionised. Even the world of celebrity, which Pulp seemed to be a one time casualty of, has morphed into another more blood thirsty beast. The times have changed but the sincerity & beauty of Pulp's songs still remains intact. And very close to my heart.

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