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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Never mind Gore Vidal, it's Jarvis Cocker!

Me Old CockerIt makes you wonder if I ever go to see anyone with a normal name. I've got tickets for Augusten Burroughs this afternoon.

Anyhoo, I apologise for the photo, but I forgot to take my camera with me, and I had a slight technical issue with my mobile phone. Namely that I have no idea how to use it. As a result I managed to select the option for people who want to take a photo the size of a postage stamp. Don't bother clicking to enlarge it - that's as big as it gets.

For me and Lisa, Friday night was the penultimate event of this year's Brighton Festival. And what better way to celebrate the end of a gruelling month of culture than with 'Jarvis Cocker On Song', a two hour lecture by the lead singer of Pulp. It was specially commisioned by the Festival, so you won't see it anywhere else. Which is a shame, because it was actually very good.

The old Cocker spent the evening analysing song lyrics, from the good (Leonard Cohen) to the bad (Des'ree's infamous toast line), via the incomprehensible - namely The Kingsmen's version of 'Louie Louie'. Personally I preferred ABC's 'That Was Then But This Is Now', which goes "Can't complain, musn't grumble, Help yourself to another piece of apple crumble". It beats Des'ree's toast into a cocked (or should that be Cockered?) hat.

Big Sis will be pleased to know that Jarvis also attacked James Blunt (sadly not physically) for the lyrics to 'You're Beautiful', which is like shooting fish in a barrel if you ask me. Interestingly, at the Paramount Comedy Festival last year, Ed Byrne did an entire routine on that subject, which is particularly spooky, because I'd spent the first half hour of Friday's show thinking how similar they look...

Jarvis CockerEd Byrne

Well, kind of. They're both very thin anyway.

People with access to a magnifying glass will notice that in addition to waxing lyrical for two hours, Jarvis did bring a guitar with him. He actually played three songs, most notably the Pulp song 'Babies', which was particularly ironic as there turned out to be one in the audience. The parents obviously couldn't get a babysitter, and thought no one would mind if their newborn cried all night in the back row of the stalls.

Anyhoo, it was all very entertaining (apart from the baby), though for me the highlight was walking through the foyer afterwards and meeting the dog-brainwasher with a scooter fetish from the Science Festival in February. It's a small world. Unfortunately.

The other highlight was this video which Jarvis played to close the show. It has nothing to do with the art of the lyricist, but in the words of Mr Cocker, "Just watch the drummer"...

It makes you wonder what he'd be like with an up-tempo number.