Press Clippings: 1991-1992


The Star (?) (Sheffield), 16th March 1991:

Jarvis back in cracking form

If anybody was to write The Life and Times of Jarvis Cocker it would make interesting, if idio­syncratic, reading.

The Pulp singer has entered the realms of local legend, and even though he has not lived in Sheffield for nigh on three years, most people connected with the music scene around here have at least one tale to tell.

After all, this is the man who, while still at school, used to have entire buses full of people chanting his name, was the subject of a graffiti campaign, has performed live from a wheelchair after tumbling from a window (impersonating Spiderman apparently), claims to have once stayed at the same campsite as Gilbert O'Sullivan's brother, and was seen by yours truly at a party in London. Sitting on top of a dungheap.

Add that to his dress sense, donning what other people dare not wear, and it's clear to see that the man is a born star. It's just that the rest of the world hasn't realised yet.

This may have something to do with Pulp's low profile over the last few years, after Jarvis decided to give up on music and go to college down south, where he has been studying film and making videos for a couple of other acts.


This must have brought back his enthusiasm, as, after a low-key concert around Christmas, they have returned to support World of Twist at the Leadmill tonight.

With Jarvis, bassist Steve Mackie and drummer Nick Banks living in London, keyboardist Candida Doyle in Manchester and only guitarist Russell Senior sticking around his home town, it's difficult for them to get anything together. But they've managed not only to get a set together but recorded an album, unsur­prisingly to be titled Separations.

The first fruits of their labour, a mere four years after the last new Pulp release is the My Legendary Girlfriend single out on Monday. The wait was worth it.

It's a cracker, and a good sign for their future develop­ments, assuming their future separations don't last too long. They will be on stage at around 9.30 tonight, and the show is apparently being filmed by Granada television for one of their late night shows.

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Unknown publication, circa March 1991:

"Getting in touch with the spirit of Barry White is the thing," says Jarvis of PULP as his Florida Spring Vegetable soup simmers obediently. "Because as you know, he is quite spiritual. So if you tune in to his wavelength, it's possible to get that sound, even without the Love Unlimited Orchestra."

Pulp have returned after some years' mysterious silence with a single which reminds us why many once hailed the Sheffield group as "the best band in the otherworld." "My Legendary Girlfriend" pulsates with not only the spirit of the great Barry but also echoes of Iggy Pop, Human League, and any great existential profundity you care to raise. It really is a bit of a corker. A big bit.

"What do I admire about Barry White? His personal approach. The way he always has the hi-hat 25 times louder than anything else. The way he can say lines like, 'Take off that brassiere, my dear' - I'd sound stupid if I said that, but then so would he if he came from Sheffield. Did you know he used to be a catburglar, like his brother who is currently in prison, but he was so fat he got caught in a window and so turned to singing?"

Jarvis has been making films and videos because "music gets on your nerves if you do it too much. Overall, though, I prefer music because there's more chance of meeting nice girls. More opportunity to show off handling a microphone. I live in hope, anyway".

"My Legendary Girlfriend" doesn't actually exist, but perhaps that's the whole point. "She's a legend in my mind. All our songs are about mundane everyday things that assume the status of high art in your own life. I used to get too precious about our records and think they'd alter people's lives; I'd try too hard. Now I've mellowed, I'm simmering down, just like this soup. Making records is like bricklaying, and if people are impressionable that's up to them."

An album, "Separations", will follow, and Pulp play their first London gigs in simply ages later this month (without the infamous wheelchair prop), It's a "show full of showstoppers".

"Sometimes," Jarvis muses, "you do go round in the middle of the night, hope she's in, throw stones up at the window. And sometimes she's annoyed with you for being noisy. But sometimes you can persuade her to come out and you can have a little adventure.

"It's not like I sit around pondering modern existence. Making soup is as profound as anything else. When you're having a drink in a bar and someone says, 'What's it all about?', that's too much, that's too vague. If they ask you something more specific, like, 'What's your opinion on the new Vauxhall Nova?', then fine..."
What's your opinion on the new Vauxhalt Nova?

"Pulp are light and shade, a dog snapping off its lead for a bit and running around then getting caught again. I can hear a train going past."


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Unknown publication, circa May 1991:

Rock & Pop Pre-view

The prodigal and prodigious Pulp return to their hometown of Sheffield on Saturday promising to be as weird and wonderful as always. To the uninitiated, Pulp have been lurking for over a decade as the creation of gangling pop eccentric Jarvis Cocker. During the 80s they had a sporadic series of critically acclaimed singles but a disap­pointing album 'It'.

Their current 45 'My Legendary Girlfriend' (Fire) tantalises, simmering and spars for the length of a run of the mill single before Jarvis b[r]eaks into song from his deep-throated narra­tive. Pulp have a compelling groovy, melodic sound of their own which helps mask the despair­ing and satirical lyrics. Their songs of love cut deep against the grain, too deep perhaps for the charts (their only escape route from the asylum?).

'Countdown' is to follow before the appear­ance of an LP 'Separations'. Their live show is the bee's knees though. The crimplene clad Cocker twitches and tweaks around the stage show theatrics, one minute Ian Curtis, the next Marc Almond. The inimitable Pulp are at The Leadmill, Sheffield on 25th May.

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(Sounds, 16th March 91)

(NME, 13th July 91)

(NME, 27th July 91)

(Melody Maker, 31st August 91)

(The Star, Sheffield, 28th December 91)


Orange, Issue 3, May 1992:

1992 sees Sheffield's wackiest band, Pulp, celebrating their tenth anniversary. In a recording career that's seen so many singles that Pulp themselves aren't totally sure what they've had released, there's only been one album - the excellent Freaks of 1987.

But, following on from the success of the two singles in '91 (My Legendary Girlfriend and Countdown), May 18th sees the release of O. U. She's Gone - a sublime piece of D.I.S.C.O. that's sure to have all the kids pogoing in delight, and rumours are spreading that the long awaited second album Seperations might follow soon after.

But aren't they afraid that, after all these years, they'll have passed their prime? Orange managed to catch up with Jarvis (vox/guitar/Oxfam junkie), Russell (guitar/violin/stares), Candida (keyboards/dresses) and Steve drums/eating) (Nick the bass player couldn't make it) to find out more.
J: No. As far as most people are concerned, we only started to exist last year.
R: Most of the people that come to see us now have never heard anything before My Legendary Girlfriend, thank goodness! They don't know about our hideous past - we've been trying to keep it quiet, you know!

So what've Pulp been up to since the release of Countdown?
R: A hectic schedule of staring into space.
J: Vegetation.
N: We went to France.
R: We played a few concerts.
J: We've just been getting some new material together.
R: I suppose the main thing we've been doing is building up a following in London, really, because we only ever had a following in Sheffield.

What's been happening with the Seperations LP? Everyone expected it to be out last year, but it's still not out. Why's it taken so long?
J: We want it to be really good. All this about things taking time is never anything to do with us, honestly.
C: It's not our fault!
N: It's the organisation around us.
J: We'd like to have a record out every couple of months, but it never seems to work out that way.
R: We recorded the unmixed album over two years ago and it was written a longtime before that, and it's just not been released yet.
J: Which hurts!

So when is it due out then?
C: We don't know much at the moment...this year hopefully!
J: Yeah, it might, hopefully, be this year, if we're lucky - if we get it between the summer and the Christmas rush!

Tell us about the new single.
J: It's great, isn't it!
R: It's called O. U..
C: Ring up our manager and you'll hear it on the answer phone!
R: It's mixed by the bloke who did Spiritualized...
J : Ed Buller, who did a very good job and, er, yeah, it's good!
R: It's radio-friendly, 'cos it's two minutes and fifty seconds long.
N: ...compared to MLG where the actual singing didn't start 'til about three minutes into the song. This one, the songs over and done worth.
R: This is shorter than the intro for MLG! More of a jingle than a song!

What's O.U. actually about then Jarvis?
J: It's about a man faced with the decision of hearing his girlfriend leaving the house, leaving him and it's only eight o'clock in the morning and he has to decide whether he wants to stay in bed for an extra hour or get dressed and go and stop her from leaving him for ever.
C: Oh, that's good!

And, dear readers, as soon as you hear this little gem of a single, you'll find that you have to agree with Candida. But if you can't wait 'til the May 18th release then make sure you're down at the Mill on May 11th and I'm sure that Pulp will play it for you - perhaps even twice, if you ask nicely. And if you can't wait 'til then, I suppose you could always give Pulp's manager a ring.


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(The Star, Sheffield, 19th September 92)

(Melody Maker, 19th/26th December 92)

(Melody Maker, 19th/26th December 92)

(NME, 30th May 92)

(NME, 18th July 92)

(NME, 19th/26th December 92)

(Melody Maker, 20th June 92)

(NME, 21st November 92)

(Melody Maker, 20th June 92)

(NME, 27th June 92)

(NME, 23rd May 92)

(NME, 27th June 92)

(Melody Maker, 9th May 92)

(Melody Maker, 9th May 92)

(NME, 10th October 92)

(Orange, No 6, October 92)

(Orange, No 3, May 92)

(Melody Maker, 25th May 92)

(Melody Maker, 24th October 92)

(NME, 24th October 92)

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