ABC, Glasgow, Fri 12 Jun
While many of his Britpop contemporaries are content to drag their increasingly saggy posteriors around the country – reforming for money-making purposes and trading solely on nostalgia – Jarvis Cocker can’t seem to stop re-inventing himself. It’s no big surprise: amid the Oasis and Blur hysteria back then, Pulp were the thinking kid’s pin-ups, musically and lyrically the pick of the bunch by far. And while the Sheffield-born chap is a little more scruffy (check the facial fuzz) and subdued these days, he consistently proves that he’s lost none of the creative spark and savvy that propelled him to fame all those years ago.
Holing up with legendary sonic wizard Steve Albini in his Chicago-based Electrical Audio studio last year, Cocker conjured up second solo offering Further Complications – tipped by gossip-mongers before its release in May as his ‘Jarvis goes rock’ project. And, well, they were kind of right. The record is the ex-Pulp man’s grittiest and most mature-sounding work to date, his trademark wit and compelling storytelling driven by bluesy guitar, honky tonk piano, thundering drums and the occasional yell and shriek alongside delicately arranged melancholy ballads. On ‘Caucasian Blues’ there is even something of the Nick Cave in his delivery – clearly no bad thing.
These latest efforts make for majestic listening, and word has it Cocker’s on top of his game performance-wise too. So Glasgow-dwellers enjoy; you get him on the second date of his forthcoming UK tour, no doubt fresh, fired-up and keen to re-affirm his place as one of Britain’s finest showmen. We predict success.