27 August 1994 - Reading Festival (live)


  • Date: 27 August 1994
  • Event: Reading Festival
  • Location: Reading

Recordings and media


ITV - The Beat (more details)

Paris Première (France)

  • Transmitted: unknown

MCM (France): full set

  • Transmitted: unknown

A professional video recording of the whole set is also in circulation – this has been broadcast on French TV and probably elsewhere. This should not be confused with a poor quality amateur video filmed from the crowd, which circulates as well.


NME, 3rd September 1994:

[...] take that FM radio shit away to America, lads, and make way for PULP - a revelation under a glitzy disco mirror-ball. This is 'pop' in quotation marks, a genuinely astounding mixture of irony, wit and panache.

Jarvis Cocker and company give us a show, no holds barred. The mincing pop star shows off his shoes, mimes extravagant gestures, sings a new song with the lyric "I've kissed your mother twice and now I'm starting on your dad", plays some hits, dramatises more new songs (including the great 'Underwear') and generally uses coldness and detachment for the common good whilst the band tick-tock away.

This is the day's highlight so far [...]

(View as image)

Andrew Mueller for Melody Maker, 3rd September 1994:

[...] I do like a bit of wit, panache, character and/or a couple of tunes I can whistle.

All this and a good deal more is deliver by PULP. This surprises me hugely as I've never really seen the point of Pulp, and Jarvis on record frequently comes over as a tad shrill and certainly not someone you'd ask to babysit. Having been won over to Jarvis The Personality by way of an extraordinary exhibition on "Pop Quiz", I am today won over to Pulp by a staggering set that emerges as the weekend's clear highlight.

Jarvis on stage approximates the result of an indiscretion between Tom Jones, Mark E Smith and a handy genetic engineer. His odd little between-song links, which would look incredibly naff on paper, are rescued by an instinctive sense of timing and endearingly lugubrious tone. He is certainly the only performer all weekend who could get away with sitting on the edge of the stage and telling the audience "I'd like to talk to you about underwear".

Pulp, then — a glorious exhibition of pop music, a revelation in velour.

Related pages

Page last modified on December 28, 2011, at 07:17 PM