I have made a lifelong habit out of missing Pulp. I was aware of the band, but not enthralled until Pulp’s Hardcore album entered my head as the featured in-flight music on one of the first big trips I made as an adult to England. I listened to the album over and over for the entire flight, then upon landing used the discount coupon Virgin had provided and bought it immediately on cassette.
I missed a chance to see Pulp live on that very trip. Later, back in the states, I missed the band consistently on its infrequent yet dogged attempts to break into the U.S. charts.
I actually held a ticket to, and attended, a star-studded benefit for Tibetan relief hosted by the Beastie Boys in Washington D.C. while I was in the nation’s capitol for a journalism convention in the late 1990s. I sat through a series of jazz and jam bands just to see a couple of Britpop acts I liked. Shortly before Pulp was to appear, lightning literally struck the stadium, jolted one concertgoer into the hospital, cracked a cement bleacher, and cancelled the rest of the show. That night, it was announced that the bands which hadn’t played would resume the show at a famous Washington rock club. I was in that very club at the time of the announcement, holding the precious ticket. Criminally, the club staff made me go outside in line rather than stay put. The line wound for several blocks, and I never got back in. Pulp played, of course.
A couple of weeks ago, Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker gave a reading of his poetry and lyrics at Yale, a few blocks from my home. I had no idea until I read about it a few days later in the Yale Daily News. The coverage is here.
Pulp reunited last year, but their only U.S. date was at the Coachella festival. Perhaps because he was in the states, Cocker’s BBC Radio 6 music show Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service hasn’t aired since April 1, with no upcoming episodes on the schedule. Luckily, a separate series, Jarvis Cocker’s Wireless Nights on BBC4, is available as a podcast.
Last month Jarvis Cocker mentioned that he’s writing new songs with the reunited Pulp in mind. It seems I will have many more opportunities to miss this band.