Jarv Is - Beyond The Pale (Rough Trade, 2020)

The English group Pulp reached its artistic peak in the 1990s. Its leader Jarvis Cocker is currently returning to the music scene with the album “Beyond The Pale”, which he recorded with the new band JARV IS.

Jarvis Cocker

Together with Miro Potoček, we were probably the first Pulp fans in Slovakia. Thanks to the album “Separations”, we discovered it as early as 1992. I liked to present recordings from their later albums such as “His‚ n ‘Hers” (1994) and “Different Class” (1995) at many parties.

In 2001, Pulp’s activity dropped significantly, although the band continued to perform occasionally. They were quite active in the 2011-2012 period and i am grateful i could see them at the Pohoda festival in Slovakia at that time.

Jarv Is

Jarvis Cocker never disappeared from the music scene. In recent years he has performed as a soloist and collaborated with many other musicians.

JARV IS…, the new band from Pulp leader Jarvis Cocker, was “conceived as a way of writing songs in collaboration with an audience”.

At the insistence of maestro Geoff Barrow (Portishead, Beak>), the songs would be trialled in front of an audience, but then used to form the basis of a new LP. It’s a terrific idea, from a man who seems to have had more than his fair share of them. The band consists of Jarvis himself on vocals, guitar and occasional percussion, and collaborators Serafina Steer (harp, keyboards, vocals), Emma Smith (violin, guitar vocals), Andrew McKinney (bass, vocals), Jason Buckle (synthesiser and electronic treatments) and Adam Betts (drums, percussion, vocals).

That aside, the headlines are that this is a mid-career highlight from one of the finest lyricists and sonic set-dressers this country has produced. It’s a little bit silly, a little bit raunchy and a whole lot of fun – something the world is in desperately short supply of.

NMR (photo: Daniel Cohen, press)