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Jarv Is, Leith Theatre, Edinburgh

  • Published in Live


For one reason or another (most likely cost) I failed to see Pulp live when they were on the go. Nor did I see Jarvis Cocker's collaboration with Chilly Gonzalez here in Edinburgh at the Festival a couple of years ago. His Jarv Is show, therefore, seemed the ideal chance to redress the balance, helped in no small part by knowing Leith Theatre would afford me the option of a seat.

Having read Luke Haines' Bad Vibes memoir at the start of the week Jarvis has been a regular feature of the days running up to this show, being mentioned in the book a number of times as he is (overall it's a good read too) so it's felt a bit like a refresher course in where he's come from to reach the point that Jarv Is occupies in his career.

Extinction Rebellion had been invited along to set up shop outside the venue and in the foyer and the need for action on global warming and reaction against the forces preventing meaningful change taking place was definitely the theme of the night.

Jarvis was on top form, the consummate entertainer, let down only at the point where he apologised for himself and his band being English, thereby indulging the myth that that's an issue for supporters of independence in Scotland (plenty of non-Scots are fans of the idea).  

Nowhere else in the city tonight would you have been regaled with quotes from Debussy, Dorothy Parker, John Lee Hooker and one or two other diverse sources in between the songs and on-stage gyrations. The near-capacity crowd lapped up every moment of it and joyfully sang & clapped along, particularly at the times when the disco ball was in use and in the choruses of current single 'Must I Evolve?'

90% of tonight's material was new but there was a Relaxed Muscle track included (a musical endeavour of Cocker's which until now had passed me by) and a Pulp track I didn't recognise & so can only assume it was pre-His & Her's.

The three song encore was over too soon for all concerned but we'd seen a band & frontman perform at their peak so no one would be leaving disappointed.

The support tonight came from Glasgow quintet Our Lady Of The Sea. Much like Jarvis's nationalism mis-step they referenced the fallacy that people in the East have an antipathy to those from Scotland's West mid-way through an introduction, a tiresome habit, long since become unamusing. Their online presence is seemingly non-existent so no link here unfortunately. Musically they were a bit pedestrian but with nonsense lyrics more suited to a far more psychedelic sound than they're currently pursuing.  


Contemporary Music @ #EDINTFEST 2017

  • Published in News

In its 70th year The Edinburgh International Festival continues to attract top contemporary musicians alongside the more traditional cultural offerings of opera, classical music etc.

Having had a pretty sonically challenging programme last year (Mogwai, God Speed! You Black Emperor & Sigur Ros) 2017 promises to be a bit lighter on the ears but no less exciting.

PJ Harvey brings her Hope Six Demolition Project show to the Edinburgh Playhouse at the beginning of August, 2015 Mercury Prize winner Benjamin Clementine pitches up at the Festival Theatre a couple of days later with some special guests, Stephen Merritt, with an expanded version of The Magnetic Fields will perform their new album 50 Song Memoir at the King's Theatre over two nights towards the end of the month whilst the same venue plays host to Jarvis Cocker & Chilly Gonzales' Room 29 collaboration over three days just prior.

Add to that a celebration of the work of Edinburgh's own Incredible String Band, productions looking at the connections between Robert Burns, slavery & Scotland and elements of the Spirit Of '47 collaboration with The British Council celebrating the festival's anniversary (including performances from Anoushka Shankar) and yet again you have a world class event in the city to close out the summer with. 

Tickets (on general sale from March 25) and further information for all events can be found here.

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