Jarvis Cocker & The Phoenix Foundation

If you ever wondered what happened to Generation X, we were at the Town Hall tonight watching a 46-year old Brit contort himself into unnatural poses. How’s this for self-confidence – instead of playing his old Pulp hits, he stuck to his two solo albums. He could’ve pulled out “Common People” at any point, but no! He could’ve hit us with “Mis-Shapes”, “Help the Aged”, “Disco 2000”, “Do You Remember the First Time” or “This is Hardcore”. Go ahead, Jarvis, it’s okay – Pulp bassist Steve Mackey is in your backing band! He could’ve aired the songs he wrote for Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. Or “Running the World” from Children of Men, with the best chorus ever. But no! And yet, the show was fantastic, despite the appalling sound.

I felt sorry for The Phoenix Foundation, playing some great songs to a largely disinterested thirty-something audience. Even their excellent single “40 Years” didn’t raise much response. Peter pointed out that when you have seven band members playing at once there aren’t many gaps in the wall of sound they produce, and for such a popular band their stage presence was dire. It looked like a grim job, and the banter between Sam Scott and Luke Buda (looking like hairy portly Lennon-McCartneys) was barbed with their lack of enthusiasm.

Cocker, by comparison, barely stood still the entire time he was on stage. Still impossibly thin (especially compared to Scott and Buda) he treated us to his entire gamut of sighs, microphone play, wiggles and yelps. Even though the songs he performed weren’t his strongest material, it was still awesome.

I recognized lots of people. Often this wasn’t a good thing – specifically, the aloof ex who hasn’t spoken to me in seven years and the imaginary purple water buffalo, strutting around like the fat, grinning cnut he is. I was also distracted by the antics of some of my friends in their early twenties who were either extremely happy or on some very good drugs. There may have been a stage invasion. There may have been biting.

Earlier in the day Capital Times interviewed me about the Jitterati book. There’s no better way to spend lunchtime than talking about yourself while an attractive journalist asks intelligent questions.

2 Responses to “Jarvis Cocker & The Phoenix Foundation”

  1. He could’ve pulled out “Common People” at any point

    If only Shatner were touring…

  2. anobviousfront Says:

    I almost came back to NZ just for this concert (why didn’t he come to Welly on his last tour!). It’s simultaneously gratifying and heartbreaking that all my friends had such a good time yet I couldn’t be there.

    Oh well, tell us more about this journalist…

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