There are no recordings in circulation.
These are strange times for Pulp. Once feted as Britpop's poet laureate, Jarvis Cocker found fame to be a fickle mistress, and the post-celebrity blowout that was the album This is Hardcore was spurned by everyone bar a small coterie of critics who detected in its pained, party-pooping whelps a great deal of soul.
His wounds duly licked, Cocker has chosen a number of low-key European festivals to make his comeback, including this gig in aid of West Cork's Liss Ard Foundation. And what a strange show this was. Having dipped a tentative toe in the water in Venice, Cocker decided to persevere with the strategy of playing the first part of the set behind Venetian blinds, where the band were visible only as fragmented silhouettes.
Such a stunt may be consistent with Cocker's art-school pretensions, but the novelty soon wore off. The blinds were still there come the fourth song, now less a stage prop than a real barrier between band and audience. All the while, new songs were being unleashed. One of them consisted of Cocker reading inaudibly from a short story as the band provided over-zealous accompaniment.
Mercifully, the blinds lifted, and we were rewarded for our patience with a soaring version of Sorted For E's and Whizz. Thereafter, it was mostly tracks from This is Hardcore, including TV Movie and that epic of paranoia, The Fear. Best of all, though, was the title track. But, just when things looked as if they were really about to move up a gear, the show came to an abrupt end, with only Dishes served up as the encore. The string of superb hit singles which make up Pulp's purple patch didn't get a look-in.
Whether such bloody-mindedness was provoked by the poor attendance — only a few hundred turned up — or by a desire on Cocker's part to shrug off his populist mantle is unclear.