jarvarmraisedbig2Jarvis Cocker’s show was originally going to be held at the vast Terminal 5, so it being switched to the more intimate Music Hall assured that the evening would be quite a sold-out crush.  Many of the fans tonight seemed to be around Jarvis’s age, and have probably grown up with him from afar, during the sweetest glam Britpop years when Pulp and Suede ruled the roost.  It made for quite a warm embrace between artist and his audience.

The bearded Jarvis, dressed as a dapper Brit out on the town in summer creams and beige, and proud of the decorated palms of his hands, shown to the audience with their hastily-drawn “Magic Eyes”, was all about learning fans’ names and being generous with fruits tonight.  He arrived on stage with the attitude “We aim to deliver”, and deliver he did.  Holding a partially-eaten apple, he proceeded to share, and at the same time, tried to will his “Magic Eyes” to guess peoples’ names.  It was quite the perfect lead-in to one of the strongest stompers from his latest album, “Angela”.

A few songs in, he found a few grapes on a stem in the pocket of his jacket and happily tossed those out as well: “Mouths open!”.  And of course, later came the sharing of the beer, which has become almost a ritual during Jarvis Cocker shows of late.  He asked, “Who wants beer?”, and feigned his concern, adding, “It’s a glass bottle!  Be responsible.”

Jarvis’s combination of cutting wit and warmth has always done well for his relationship with his fans and admirers.  When someone screamed out a request for Pulp’s “Common People”, instead of ignoring it, Jarvis turned it into a fun repartee, saying, “Yeah, it’s not a bad song.  It’s available on CD.  Or download,” then adding, “I wouldn’t have written it if I didn’t like it.”

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After casually mentioning the fact that he and his band played the Jimmy Fallon show earlier that day, Jarvis expressed his past affection for television and the sad fact that now it’s just a vehicle for selling things.  “TV’s over, isn’t it?”, he says, as the band starts in with “Further Complications”, the title track and strongest tune from the recent release.

The latter part of the set, including a generous encore, included older favorites like “Big Julie”, the rocking “Fat Children”, the unstoppable “Black Magic” (showing Jarvis in his finest dance break down yet), as well as a swoozy ballad and gritty electro number.  Jarvis and the fans were clearly having too good of a time to cut the evening short, so in aiming to deliver, Jarvis definitely did.  And some.–MVW

Jarvis Cocker 2008 live review/photos by Tear-n Tan here