Sheffield's Finest On The Outdoor Life
Taken from What's On, 27 October - 9 November 2001
We Love Life, Pulp's first new album for over three years, finds the band going back to basics, back to nature - and back indoors. "We've played a lot of festivals this summer," says drummer Nick Banks. "They're great cos you go to nice places and get to play in the sunshine and everyone's in a good mood, but I realised other day we haven't actually played a concert with a roof on for about three years."
That all changes when Pulp come to Birmingham Academy for One Live, to play some old favourites as well as a smattering from the new record, currently enjoying some great reviews:
"Obviously you don't want to keep repeating yourself but you're still roughly the same kind of people," says Nick. "We tried to have a simpler approach - we had a few false starts with different producers and then we went with Mr Walker (Scott) - it sounds like a cliché but we tried to just get all together as you would be in rehearsals, that good feeling as opposed to everything metronomically timed to the last microsecond and everything played technologically accurate. We want to add a bit of a spice, jazz it up! It's just a case of trying to capture that sort of spark of when you first write a song and the first time you all manage to play the right bits in the right order at the same time and you think 'ooh' that's quite an exciting time."
It's generally been an exciting time for Pulp since Different Class catapulted the Sheffield band from 17 years of relative obscurity to every front page in the country. And while they still maintain some of their art school chic, Nick rubbishes any notion Pulp didn't want to become household names but instead remain merely cult heroes: "Those people who join bands to say 'oh we should do the music we like and if anyone else likes it its a bonus' are kidding themselves - I think everyone would like the music they make to be popular," he insists. That said, the father of two admits 'there's always a light bulb to be changed around the house' to keep him at home, and even frontman Jarvis Cocker has begun to shy away from the media circus and showbiz party circuit.
"It doesn't affect me so much, being the bloke that sits at the back - it's just his nibs that does all that, but he's kind of shied away from going to parties and all that," he reveals. "He just realised that when you've not had access to that kind of thing you've got to give it a go, have a look, you do it for a bit and then you realise you just end up talking to the same nobheads all the time. You go to a party and there's a VIP room and you think 'Oh we've got to get in there, it must be so much better', so you get in and there'll be another cordoned off area and you've got to get in there, and eventually you just end up in a room on your own - you could stay at home for that."
You can read the review and see pictures from the Birmingham Academy show by clicking here>