Never shy of trying something new, Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker brought his latest five-piece band to Leith Theatre and beguiled the capacity crowd with a set of mostly unfamiliar material, though there were some comforting tropes, not least the brown geography teacher chic, some judicious observations on current affairs and the occasional unapologetic pun.
Jarv Is, Leith Theatre, Edinburgh * * * *
“Are you ready to take Leith of your senses?” he inquired over a powerful and pumping opening number, before diving into the beefy, angular garage rocker Further Complications, the laugh-out-loud lyrics of baroque pop nightmare Mary and the motorik maelstrom of Must I Evolve.
Evolution was an underlying theme of the set, as he quoted the forward-thinking sense of a number of public figures born on this day, from blues maestro John Lee Hooker to waspish wit Dorothy Parker, as well as presiding over the understandably cathartic singalong to C***s Are Still Ruling The World.
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But this was not the moment for furrowed brows as he led the crowd in an entertaining if overly complicated handjive and showered them in sweeties. Those hoping to be treated to Pulp songs had to content themselves with His’n’Hers and the Pulpish sleazy, slightly satirical pop of Swanky Modes.