For most of us, the last gig is likely to be the most memorable. Having said that, Pulp at Sheffield Motorpoint Arena on December 8th will be memorable for many years to come. I suspect for most of the locals it will be the ‘gig of a lifetime’. I was a late convert to Pulp. For various reasons I wasn’t listening to much music when they were first around, so their joint headline appearance at Reading in 2011 gave me an excuse to get into them. (They were joint with The Stokes, who I was so looking forward to seeing but they were such a letdown. I suppose anyone following Jarvis would find it difficult, but Julian C et al seemed to think they just had to turn up, pretend to be waxwork models with limited limb movement and no banter and everyone would be satisfied.)
From the first words “You say you’ve gotta go home” at the beginning (nobody did) to the last “something changed” almost 3 hours later Jarvis, playing in his home city for the first time in 11 years, treated the crowd, with at least a 50 year age range, to as an emotional and electric performance as anyone could have hoped for. The girls in front of us would have been in primary school when they last appeared, yet they knew every word of every song. The 50+ year old, 5 rows in front of us, similarly sang/shouted all of the way through. Yes and so did I.
I hope the boy from Wrexham that we met on the tram out to the arena managed to stand once inside, I haven’t seen anyone actually crawl from inside a tram out onto the pavement; also I hope his mate found ‘the hill’ he had parked the car on. And they were like this before they discovered the 2 pint ‘supa’ plastic glasses inside the arena.