Had a good jaunt down the M4 for this one, despite forecasts of motorway chaos on the contraflows, so we got to the Empire to see the last half of support Minty's set. Strange doesn't even begin to describe it; a collection of oddly attired individuals including a masked bassist, a keyboardist wearing a toilet seat around his neck, and a female backing singer who was butt naked apart from a polythene sheet suspended from some weird hat creation! The singer, dressed in spangly outfit and horns, shouted over a ham-fisted rock background that we were all, "King Size". Weird!
Pulp came on at 9.15 to be met by a volley of screams from the sell-out crowd of Britpop-obsessed teenage girlies. It seems old Jarvis, 6 foot 4 and 9 stone wringing wet, is now 1995's unlikeliest sex symbol! Weirder!
Anyway, we wandered around to find a good vantage point during Pulp's early numbers. Their set took a little while to get going, but a fine, elongated, doomy and spooky "Acrylic Afternoons" kick-started it beautifully. Pulp, I'm glad to say, have not let their recent success affect their quality control; their new numbers sounded as sleazy, glam, sexy and deliciously moody and melodic as the rest! "Girl 2000" (later renamed "Disco 2000" of course!) and the encore "Common People" were the highlights of an overall stunning set, delivered by a tight, taut band and a splendid showman vocalist in Jarvis the true star. An excellent night's entertainment for a packed house, from a band reaping the rewards of 15 years of hard slog. They deserve their time in the spotlight!