The band perform a 14-song set to just 1,300 people, two days before their Homelands headline appearance...

PULP tested out six new songs on just 1,300 people in a marquee tent at a literary festival in HAY-ON-WYE, on the Wales-England border, last night (May 24).

The band, who have been working with legend Scott Walker on a new, as-yet-untitled album, opened the Hay-On-Wye Literature Festival with a 14-song set of new tunes and hits.

It was the Sheffield band’s first live appearance since last year’s Reading and Leeds Carling Weekend Festivals.

The new songs were ‘Weeds’, ‘Bad Cover Version’, ‘Trees’, ‘Minnie Timperley’, ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Wicker Man’. Pulp also played a new version of ‘Common People’, with a stripped-down Krautrock-style introduction, and ‘Little Soul’ was dedicated to Bob Dylan on his 60th birthday.

Each of the 14 songs played had their own ambient video backdrop – presumably shot by budding film director Jarvis Cocker.

Jarvis was on top form as usual, having plenty to say about former US President Bill Clinton – who is to take the same Hay Festival stage at the weekend.

“We had trouble bringing our lights in past security, because they thought we might bring a bomb in, or a laser that might zap him, or something.

“He’s a lot better than George Bush. Cigars aren’t quite as harmful as missiles. Same shape…”

Introducing new song ‘Trees’, he said: “People carve their names in trees because they think it’s permanent. They are all around, trees, and oxygen comes from them apparently.

“But they intimidate me because one day I’ll be wearing one.”

And of ‘Bad Cover Version’, he said: “Has anybody ever drunk a can of Panda Cola? It’s rubbish, isn’t it? This song is about trying to be something and not really getting there.”

‘Minnie Timperley’, meanwhile, relates the story of a dream that Jarvis had about a Scottish slave, while an epic new song called ‘Wicker Man’ is apparently a homage to the classic horror film of the same name.

As well as Clinton, the Hay Festival will also feature a poetry reading from Paul McCartney and live sets from Van Morrison and Suzanne Vega over the coming week.

Tomorrow (May 26), Pulp will headline their own Desperate Arena at the Homelands Festival near Winchester.

Last night’s setlist was:

Sorted For E’s And Wizz


Bad Cover Version

Common People


Little Soul


Minnie Timperley

Party Hard




Wicker Man

Help The Aged

The Fear