May 23, 2024

Sheffield Scene Part 3: Pulp

In addition to┬áthe world famous steel works that produced cutlery used in almost every household and institution in the world, Sheffield also had numerous paper recycling firms. And it is this environment that spawned one of Sheffield’s finest pop groups.

Pulp were a bunch of workers from one of the recycling plants. In their lunch breaks they would happily sing of life as they thought it should be like, often foregoing their food. They had often daydreamed about dandy things and it is this influence that shaped their lyrics and funny dress.

Spotted acting dandily in a local Netto, they were signed by a record label to make records based on their imaginary lifestyle. Disco 2000 and Common People touched on subjects like love, art school and foreign people, subjects they never encountered in the paper recycling plant. Their music was that of soft rock.

However, their success didn’t last to long. All this daydreaming and dandying went to the head of lead singer, Jarvis Cocker (named after his local hero Joe Cocker, naming himself the second name instead of the customary first in typical arty fashion). He went off on a National Express to London with a stick and a hanky, never to return to either Sheffield or the band.

Here is Do You Remember the First Time, obviously a song reminiscing about sex done in their usually dreamily way; none of the group had ever copulated:

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