Pulp/Gonzalez/British Sea Power : Cornwall Eden Project
Pretty faces, tempting us from Eden with whispers of sex and fun? Yeah, like we’d fall for that one again
For over a year, the Eden Project – an attempt to create an Amazonian rainforest in the depths of rural Cornwall – has been showing the public how paradise would have appeared before Eve and Adam started meddling. To celebrate, they’ve decided to lay on a weekend of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
Crashing through the pastoral idyll come British Sea Power in full huntsmen get-up. It’s not exactly in tune with Eden’s tree-hugging ethos, yet we can forgive them just as we can forgive their occasional fondness for bloated prog. Because when British Sea Power decide to rock, it’s like Feargal Sharkey letting rip at CBGB’s with Ian Curtis on guest dancing duty. A few somersaults and trashed guitars and they’re gone, blending back into the forest from where they came.
The way is now clear for Chilly Gonzales. Tonight the Canadian performance-rapper proves not only that he looks good in pink suits, baseball wear and bird-watching couture, but that he can execute his nursery rhyme hip-pop with an arrogance and wit that would make Eminem blush. Fuck Fischerspooner and their two million dollar stage shows, this is where it’s at: one man, a backing track and some Lionel Richie piano covers.
Chosen to headline the first night of the Eden Sessions due to their understanding of the critical relationship between plants and people, Pulp first expressed their yoghurt-knitting sympathies with last year’s album ‘We Love Life’. Opening with ‘The Trees’, Jarvis commences to educate us in the ways of righteousness, country etiquette and the human respiratory system. But what begins as a social service quickly ascends into the spiritual realm as the audience are exposed to some of the most uplifting, emotive songs in the history of melodramatic pop. Hit after hit after hit, each played with the focused energy of a new band looking to win over their first crowd. ‘Birds In Your Garden’ is throwaway pop at its most sublime, while ‘Weeds’ is nothing less than a folk anthem. As always, though, the depravity soon seeps in. ‘F.E.E.L.I.N.G C.A.L.L.E.D L.O.V.E.’ and ‘This Is Hardcore’ are sleaze Pulp picked off the streets, dusted down and taken to the ball. Meanwhile, the intoxicating outro rebellion of ‘Sunrise’, which sees Jarvis ripping at his clothes, and the sly come-on of ‘Underwear’ make it clear Pulp are here to do more than teach us about shrubbery. Pretty faces, tempting us from Eden with whispers of sex and fun? Yeah, like we’d fall for that one again…