Jarv Is - Roundhouse, London, 9/11/2021

  by Steev Burgess

published: 1 / 3 / 2022

Jarv Is - Roundhouse, London, 9/11/2021

Steev Burgess watches an impressive set of old and new songs from former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker at the Roundhouse in London.


The great thing about these Jarvis Cocker gigs is that at times he turns the large post-industrial buildings he likes to play in, from disco into somewhere as intimate as the kitchen at a party. A genial host, he involves the audience in interesting chat and genuinely seems to be interested in the lives of his following, one Polish fan being singled out with thanks for her journey. This wasn't a low key show though, a glowing circle of changing colours and a rainbow prism effects stood behind Jarvis centre stage, and an array of laser lights and small mirrors rebounded around the formed engine-turning railway building. The untoured 'Beyond The Pale' album that was released last year formed the base of this concert, performed with extra vocalist Nala at times, backed by harp, keys, drums, violin and Jarvis himself, on a Vox Starsteam twelve string guitar, with its built in multi-effects, over which the singer looked extremely concerned as he spilt wine over it early in the show. Jarvis explained that the acclaimed 'House Music All Night Long'' single was actually written well before lockdown about a lonely Saturday night, saying it should have been titled 'House Music All Year Long', He later enquired about the wellbeing of any fans who'd been to his last show when Covid may have been in the air and confessing to lockdown vodka drinking. A new song was unveiled. The audience were asked their preferred title of 'Slow Jam' or 'Bad Friday', the subject matter seeming to be a conversation with Jesus about the problems with being a messiah figure. 'Am I Missing Something?', 'Must I Evolve?' and 'Sometimes I Am Pharaoh' were all delivered with his usual angular vogues, part scarecrow in the headlights, part favourite OU lecturer, dressed in black velvet, black shirt and flecked kipper tie. Jarvis declared a "Camden interlude" as he told tales of thirty years ago when he shared a freezing flat in Georgiana Road with a dealer and two whippet dogs, that lay claim to Cocker's bed, sometimes not bothering to leave when nature called. The writer escaped the scuzzy scene by reading 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter' by Carson McCullers, which inspired the song 'Big Julie'. The Camden section continued with 'Swanky Modes', which once was a fashion shop opposite Camden High Road station. Jarvis did a roll call of names of people who once ran the shop or worked there that he'd invited to the show before he sang tales of various people from the singer to the canal tow path junkie trying to keep the dream alive to the excellent reggae beat. The role of Johnson and the other world leaders was brieflty discussed before a rousing rendition of a song once hidden 30 minutes into nothingness at the end of a record, 'Cunts Are Still Ruling the World', which became the night's popular, topical singalong. Another singalong was a French cover of 'Cristophes Aline', not before the Yorkshireman had enquired how many French people were in the audience (a good number, as it turned out) with Jarvis dissing Brexit before singing the track from his new 'Chansons d'Ennu'i album made under the fictional name Tip Top, a character from Wes Anderson's new film 'The French Dispatch', The encores concluded with a Pulp song, but not one that you might have expected..The early release 'My Legendary Girlfriend' rounded things up full circle, which in the Roundhouse seemed apt,

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Jarv Is - Roundhouse, London, 9/11/2021

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