“Glastonbury means an awful lot to me, I would love to play there again,” said Jarvis Cocker in The People this week. “We’ve talked about it, there we go, there’ll be a band reunion.” He might not have spelled it out explicitly, but it doesn’t seem too premature to take this as an admission that Pulp are planning to reform for Glastonbury 2010. After all, he’s hardly likely to be talking about The All Seeing I.
Is it a good idea? This is the moment where rock hacks generally tut and whinge and say something like, ‘Don’t do it, Jarvis – don’t tarnish Pulp’s legacy, don’t give in to the cliché, follow the example of The Smiths/The Stone Roses/Talking Heads and resist the almighty festival dollar.’ In this case, though, I’m finding it hard to quell my honest, instinctive response, which is: Pulp at Glastonbury! Fucking brilliant!
Especially if they play this:
Plus, I know Jarvis’ last solo album was pretty well received, but whenever I’ve seen him live recently , there’s been something a bit empty about the spectacle, a slight sense of going-through-the-motions, an uneasy feeling that the between-song quips are now more entertaining than the songs themselves.
Jarvis solo is a marginal figure, whereas with Pulp he always thrived on being culturally front-and-centre: think of the Jacko bum-waggling incident, or the tabloid outrage sparked by ‘Sorted For E’s And Whizz’. Reforming the band could help return to him to the media spotlight, which would in turn (should he choose to pen new material) refresh and reinvigorate his songwriting.
With Pulp, he excelled at capturing the wonky social mosaic that defines Englishness – ravers, nerds, art-student poverty-tourists. By contrast, as a solo artist he’s currently spinning his wheels, writing tongue-in-cheek songs about fucking, such as, er, ‘Fuckingsong’. You can’t help thinking it’s a waste of his talents. Equally, you suspect a Pulp comeback – complete with ecstatically-received Glastonbury set – might just jolt him out of creative cruise-control.
Then again, they might just play ‘This Is Hardcore’ in its entirety and bore everyone to tears…