Tuesday, 14 December 2010

233 PULP, Supp. St. Etienne, Cardiff University Terminal 396, Sunday 28 February 1993

A very quick trip (less than 1 1/2 hours!) down to Cardiff after the live footy got us (me, Clive and infrequent gig-goer Soke) there in time for doors. Not the usual Uni main hall, but an industrial decor pipe-lines psychic dancehall backroom as well! An excellent venue, and certainly one to go back to! Pulp, our main reason for being here tonight, came on at 8.20 and played a totally brilliant set of their haunting, sleazy organ-led pop; seventies-influenced, sleazy, sexy, sinister but always startling and superb. Jarvis Cocker, as I've always believed would happen, is well on his way to becoming a true star of our times, and was an inspiring and eye-catching focus for this brilliant band of misfits and strays. Every one a winner, but highlights were "Stacks", "She's A Lady", the God-like "Babies" and closer "OU". Another highlight was Jarv sharing his late-arriving pizza order with the front rows; I had a mouthful of garlic bread while dancing to "Stacks"! It's only February, but I'll be hard pushed to see a better performance than Pulp's this year!

St. Etienne, however, paled in comparison to their support. Due on at 9.30 but eventually emerging at 10 with "Nothing Can Stop Us", a fine but very laid-back opener, their subsequent set was ambient, unusual and very nice, but never startling and always suffering in comparison to Pulp's sparkling performance. 2 unusual covers, of Bowie's "Absolute Beginners" and the Fall's "Choc Stock", and their own cinematic pop classic "You're In A Bad Way" were the highlights of a set, during which I spent much of the time watching the projections on their heart-shaped backdrop. A very short set as well - off at 10.35 having played considerably shorter than their support, they introduced the last number with vocalist Sarah Cracknell announcing, "sorry to disappoint anyone but we don't do encores. We're not a rock'n'roll band, we're a pop group." Hmmm. So, off we went to the chippy, to celebrate Pulp's set.

Final score; Sheffield 4, St. Etienne 2. An impressive home win!

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