I’ll give you a tl:dr for this review: I’ve been a massive Jarvis Cocker fan for decades, so unless he sits on stage and just screams for an hour this is going to be a glowing review. Sorry. Also this is my only review of the festival in which I did not take contemporaneous notes, so who knows how it’ll come out.
Jarv Is might be Jarvis’ latest incarnation, but he’s not one of these uptight people who keeps the career steps separated: he begins with a brilliant but lesser known His n Hers era Pulp song, as well as performing the new Jarv Is album, and many stops along the way. There’s a new track called Proceed to Route which I liked but I am immensely bias so, yunno, probably one to YouTube later, this is its UK live debut.
Throughout Jarvis does his classic moves, there’s a heavy use of stylophone and violin (Seperations era Pulp fans, of which I am as it’s my favourite Jarvis album are very pleased), his awkwardly wry chat to the audience, effortless cool. Jarvis is, perhaps, expecting the crowd to sing more during Must I Evolve, but no matter, he’s brought sweets for them anyway, which get thrown over us.
When I say this is a Jarvis all eras bonanza, I mean it: Jarv Is wrote the music for This Is Where It Hurts, a BBC comedy about the NHS, and they play the theme song here for us. It works, because of course, Jarvis wrote a proper song for it. Then a moment of pure joy: a few days before Jarvis had been walking the site, eating out with the public, and had a conversation with some normals… and he recognised them in this crowd and had a chat.
Then the second new song of the night, Lockdown is a prominent lyric and it’s in the vibe of those glorious sprawling, almost stream of consciousness songs Jarvis does so well when he’s not writing charting hits. If we’re being honest not everyone’s exactly convinced. Safer ground is returned to with Jarvis solo tune Further Complications.
Running the World makes a deserved appearance, with the “cunts” changed to “pricks” to better reference the weekend’s events. A cathartic singalong follows. Closing song House Music All Night Long comes with a call for people at home to get outside too. We’ve all been locked down, now time to get out.
It’s too short a set, there’s many, many good songs that Jarv Is could perform. But it’s been good to connect with the legend live once more.