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#CocoLive - Pulp and Wet Leg, Finsbury Park, London

#CocoLive - Pulp and Wet Leg, Finsbury Park, London

An effervescent and nostalgic celebration of one of the greatest and most quintessentially Britpop-era bands of all time.

July 2nd, 2023

Vibrant orange confetti shooting across the audience, an orchestra wearing bucket hats and some customary handography moves from Pulp’s iconic frontman Jarvis Cocker, Pulp’s triumphant return to Finsbury Park was so much more than just a sensational live music performance.

It was a superb showcase of a much-loved band's enduring legacy and one of the most celebrated bands of the Britpop era. Pulp served up an energetic and sparkling set chock-full of fan favourites and deep cuts like ‘Pink Glove’.

Ably supported by Exotic Gardens, Baxter Dury and THE band of the moment, the super-talented Wet Leg who showcased why they are one of the best British bands in the scene right now. Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers are captivating performers each in their own way.

Hester (lead guitar and backing vocals) is a prodigious guitarist and has a sweet tone to her vocals reminiscent of Nina Persson from The Cardigans, whilst Rhian (main vocals and rhythm guitar) delivers her silky vocals confidently with vigour and humour and has a real swagger to her performance.

Performing tracks from their stunning eponymous debut like ‘Ur Mum’, ‘Wet Dream’, ‘Piece of Shit’ and of course ‘Chaise Longue’, this was a first-class performance from the indie-rockers.

The sold-out crowd at Finsbury Park were in the mood to celebrate and Pulp didn’t disappoint and their jam packed set was an entirely celebratory affair.

There was a reflective moment before a heartfelt performance of ‘‘Something Changed’ from 1995’s ‘Different Class’ where frontman Jarvis Cocker paid tribute to the late bassist Steve Mackey.

Jarvis commented that the band wanted ‘to do something that is a tribute to Steve Mackey’s memory’ and how ‘Something Changed’ is about how ‘somebody can enter your life and really change it all’.

It was a beautiful and touching moment and you could really feel the emotion and energy throughout the 45,000  crowd.

Pulp kicked off proceedings with ‘I Spy’ (a masterclass in storytelling) closely followed by a jubilant rendition of ‘Disco 2000’, the year might have changed, but the feeling and joy from this track is as omnipresent as ever.

The band paid tribute to the LGBTQIA+ community with ‘Mis-Shapes’ and had the crowd singing along with ‘Sorted for E's & Wizz’, where the entire string section donned bucket hats reminiscent of the rave era which was an hilarious interlude and showed why Pulp have always been about the humour and celebrating the extraordinary.

The thrillingly-tight band showed what consummate musicians they all are with the charismatic Jarvis Cocker front and centre. HIs showmanship and dance moves (which includes his renowned hand-ography) was met with appreciation and cheers from the enraptured crowd,

‘Do You Remember The First Time?’, ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Babies’ were enthralling and almost otherworldly whereas ‘Common People’ was electrifying, flamboyant and anthemic.

Pulp proved once again not only why they were and still are one of the most quintessentially British bands of all times, but why their songwriting and performance style is simply unforgettable.

The vibrant graphics flashed the momentous words that this would be a ‘night you will remember for the rest of your lives’ and this certainly cannot be denied. If their mission was to put on an unforgettable show, then they surpassed all expectations and more. Mission accomplished!

Photo Credit: Sarah Louise Bennett

Emma Harrison

Emma Harrison

Music editor, Emma, is in her element at gigs, listening to records and has freelanced as a music and travel writer for the past 7 years.