Jarvis Cocker at Electric Picnic: No going back to the year 2000
Review: A crowd-pleasing show? No. An inside look at a maverick’s progress? Definitely
Electric Picnic 2019: Jarvis Cocker renews his creative vows. Photograph: Dave Meehan
Styled more recently as Jarv Is, the former lead singer and signature figure of the UK band Pulp has always been an odd yet acutely intelligent pop star.
So it continues with a stage show that features little more than Cocker throwing spidery silhouettes and singing-talking his way through a variety of new (Must I Evolve?, C***s Are Still Running the World) and old material (including Pulp’s His’n’Hers, and lesser tracks from his solo albums).
Cocker is a creative, witty songwriter who has rarely if ever compromised, and this latest incarnation carries on that tradition. Long-time admirers would, therefore, readily accept a show that could clearly benefit from being experienced in a smaller venue.
Alas, those eager to hear those very well-known Pulp songs remain untouched by Cocker’s adherence to the new. And yet you have to respect the man’s decision to renew his creative vows: few highly regarded songwriters of his generation have the nerve to leave the past behind.
Is this a crowd-pleaser? No. Is it an inside look at a maverick’s progress? Yes. There’s no going back to the year 2000 for this guy.