Jarvis Cocker at the Showbox, Seattle | 30 April 2007
The man, the myth, the legend made his first ever appearance in Seattle last night to packed Showbox. It’s quite amazing how at 43, this guy can make grown women (and some men) act like teenage girls. He does look better than ever, if I do say so myself, sauntering on stage with his signature glasses, wool sport coat, big belt buckle and skinny trousers. It reminded me of the those heady Brit-pop days when going to see a UK group was truly an event.
The band came out and launched into Fat Children, while Jarvis put down his newspaper and threw candies to the audience like some grandfatherly character giving candy to his grandchildren. It reminded me of the time I saw him on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. He came out in a tweed suit hobbling around on a cane. Jarvis has this aura or style about him that is half urban hipster, half old pervert.
His band sounded great with two guitarists, though no Richard Hawley who played most of the guitar on record, and former Pulp bassist Steve Mackey who also played bass on the record. The Jarvis banter between songs was ace, he went on a rant against air hockey, was very curious about the Lusty Lady, wondered if intelligencer as in Seattle Post-Intelligencer was a word, and wanted know where the hell all of the much publicized scantily clad baristas were.
He played most of his solo record, but a couple of the stand outs from last night were b-sides. One Man Show is a funny song about a hot date with a baked potato and Cocker did his own one man show for us with some killer Jarvis dance moves and lots of shimmying that caused much swooning over where I was standing. The other b-side he did was Big Stuff, which he said was written for Lee Hazelwood which Hazelwood had declined to sing. No matter, the Jarvis version had a Girl, You’ll Be Woman Soon vibe going on that built to a massive crescendo. That crescendo crashed into the showstopper of the night; with it’s Crimson and Clover sample, Jarvis jumping around in fits of panic and the crowd in a frenzy with him, Black Magic totally killed! Cunts are Still Running the World closed the set with everyone singing along to the chorus.
They came back out for the encore and totally nailed Purple Haze. On paper it doesn’t sound possible, but ask anyone who was there and they will tell you Jarvis knows Jimmy. My favorite part of the night was during Purple Haze when he sang “Exuse me whilst I kiss the sky.” No Pulp songs, no Pulp songs needed!