JARV IS live at Glastonbury 2022: forward-looking set proves nostalgia doesn’t own Worthy Farm

Louche Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker returns to Pilton, resisting the urge to roll out the hits

Glastonbury bloody loves nostalgia. Macca put the Pyramid Stage in a trance last night (June 25) with tunes mostly written 50 years ago. Noel Gallagher, in his own words, played to “a lot of happy people in bucket hats” desperate for ‘90s bangers. And The Libertines somehow managed to draw a huge, bleary-eyed crowd on Friday, even though they played in the actual morning (!). Naturally, each legend rolled out tried-and-tested bangers, which is more than can be said for Jarvis Cocker on the Park Stage this afternoon (June 26).

Slinking out to Blondie’s massive 1979 hit ‘Heart Of Glass’, the snake-hipped frontman and his JARV IS band immediately rips into ‘She’s A Lady’, the first and only Pulp tune of the night. There’s no shortage of danceable anthems to rock out to, but any Britpop dads hoping to relive their youth clearly came to the wrong place. We get silly psych tale ‘MUST I EVOLVE’, from the band’s 2020 album ‘Beyond The Pale’, and then ‘Proceed To The Route’ – a song about “the most annoying thing a Sat Nav can say”. There’s even a UK live debut for ‘This Is Going To Hurt’, their composition from the acclaimed BBC medical drama of the same name. It’s all very nice and often quite fun, but definitely not ‘Common People’.

Though that doesn’t seem to matter to the chilled-out revellers watching. Hair ruffled by a cooling breeze as the sun sets behind him on Glastonbury 2022’s final day, Cocker puts on a classic display of his best floppy indie dancing. Dressed in a brown blazer and waggling his arms and legs around in the way only he can, the louche rocker resembles Mick Jagger if he was a history teacher from Sheffield. There’s much shaking of the bottom, a little pelvis thrusting, and even some mock fainting going on. The crowd laps it up, loving the silliness – but then Jarv gets a bit serious.


Jarvis Cocker on the Park Stage at Glastonbury. CREDIT: Parri Thomas

“You might recognise this next song,” he says in that soothing Sheffield drawl. “We keep trying to stop playing it and then things happen in the world and we have to keep playing it.” He’s talking about ‘(Cunts Are Still) Running the World’’’, his 2006 solo single, with the lyrics changed for telly to “pricks are still running the world”.

“It seems appropriate to sing this song,” he continues, before referencing the recent overturning in the US of a landmark law giving the right to abortion by the Supreme Court. “We’re singing it over the Atlantic Ocean because a certain judgement has been made, mainly by men, telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies so this is going to those guys.” The comments spark huge cheers from the crowd, who only get louder as Cocker conducts them through a raucous singalong of the catchy chorus. It’s a fitting way to stick a finger up to the misogynists – and proves you don’t always have to shut up and play the hits.

JARV IS played:

‘She’s a Lady’ (Pulp cover)
‘Must I Evolve?’
‘Proceed to the Route’
‘This Is Going to Hurt’
‘Further Complications’ (Jarvis Cocker song)
‘Sometimes I Am Pharaoh’
‘Cunts Are Still Running the World’ (Jarvis Cocker song)
‘House Music All Night Long’