PULP: Unsung Heroes

Every great comedian needs a straight man, and the career of Pulp shows that dreadful unintentional comedians need them too. Jarvis rightly earns the champion’s portion of hate here, but let’s spare a thought for his long-suffering backing boys (the suffering in question being entirely ours).

First off, Russell Senior. Sour-faced fop who quit Pulp because he couldn’t stand the fame. I’m sorry! What fame? Nobody knew who the fuck you were, they were all gazing at your twitching leader. Anyway, Russ left and has proved himself much better at avoiding fame that he was at hem-hem winning it by allying himself with no-hopers like Baby Birkin.

His departure allowed Mark Webber to step into the light. Mark was a man with a mission – he didnt want to be playing this unchallenging pop music, oh no, he wanted to be playing Serious Experimental Music with Drones and Long Notes. To this end he persuaded Jarvis to tape down a key on the synth at the end of their last album and let it play for fifteen minutes. Maybe it was to thank him for this, frankly the best bit of This Is Hardcore by a country mile, that Jarvis agreed to play a benefit gig for silly avant-beardie La Monte Young. It’s more likely, though, that Webber told his none-too-bright singer that Lamonte Youngs were a brand of continental cigarettes.