In possibly the best reunion news in all of time, Pulp – Jarvis Cocker, Steve Mackey, Mark Webber, Candida Doyle, Nick Banks and Russell Senior – have announced they're to reform for some live action in the summer of 2011.
They've announced a London date, 3rd July, headlining the Barclaycard Wireless event in London's Hyde Park, but so far the first date will be in Barcelona at Primavera Sound on 27th May. There'll surely be more dates to be announced.
Having Senior back – he quit after Different Class, formed Venini and then retired to a potting shed – is a particular highlight. I interviewed him about his new start-up back in 1999; he was kind enough to give me some white label vinyl the band had produced, though their album sadly never saw the light of day. After Senior's departure, two more albums and a Best Of were released, and then Pulp called it a day. But they had, most especially with Common People, made their mark on music history. Tracks from that career-defining Different Class album were showcased on Later… with Jools Holland (check out this vid of I Spy live with strings) – they lose nothing of their impact with the passage of time.
Having first seen them in the mid-'90s at the Manchester MEN Arena, in pre-musicOMH days when others were toting Blur and Oasis CDs about, I'd had the pleasure of leaning on the Reading Festival main stage in 2002 for one of their final gigs, which ended with the masterful Sunrise. Knowing the band were going on hiatus, it was a bittersweet moment. I'd bought the back catalogue over time; the songs have stuck in my head, and in the heads of very many others.
Fast forward nearly a decade, and last month I caught Jarvis, now a veteran of two solo albums, playing with sometime Pulp member Richard Hawley, at the JD Sessions gig in the Clapham Grand. He still has the long hair and the geography teacher get-up into which he's grown since Pulp split. The pair played with Duane Eddy. It was an enjoyable evening, made the moreso when they wheeled out Pulp classic Something Changed. Those of us watching wondered if – hoped – this was a prelude to a reunion. Sometimes, dreams do come true.
Pulp are a band whose music – and Jarvis's sharply observational and highly memorable lyrics – has stood the test of time. But do you remember the first time? Head over to PulpPeople.com and see…