“Are you going to let Leith of your senses tonight” asks Jarvis Cocker, the inimitable front man from Pulp to the sold out crowd at the revamped Leith Theatre. And they were definitely up for getting involved with Jarv Is – his new project playing tonight as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.
This was the first performance of Jarv Is in Scotland and indeed as Jarvis shared, the first large indoors venue, as they have only played festivals so far. Jarvis commenting on this was the first time they have a captive audience to listen and indeed they did.
The audience are entranced watching Jarvis and his own unique endearing stage swagger, pulling off dancing on two disco boxes, throwing all matter of shapes and hip thrusting along to the new tunes.
His kooky style of witty lyric writing was evidently still there, filled with wry observations and content on everyday life and events. Themes included the horror of leaving a late night voice message on an ex’s phone and having a solo dance party to yourself which makes you yearn to go out clubbing.
Recently released debut single, Must I Evolve sees Jarvis grappling with the realisations he needs to grow up after learning he is to be a father and has the great line “dragging my knuckles, listening to Frankie Knuckles” – a nod to the late Godfather of house.
Further charming the crowd with chat and asking how their festival is going and do they need to rush off to the Underbelly or are they alright to stay for a few more tunes he also brought politics to the fore.
Jarvis pleads if the band can claim political asylum in Scotland to which the Leith crowd gave a resounding cheer of acceptance before the band launch into Running The World, which has everyone chanting along.
Extinction Rebellion campaigners were also outside prior to the gig on Jarvis’ request – apt as I had just been to see Sam Haygarth’s (one of the founders of Extinction Rebellion and organiser of its protests) Climate Crisis show at the Fringe – also worth seeing.
Jarvis leads the audience through a Jarvis dance during the finale of the gig leaving on a high and his status as legend is surely cemented here.
Photo courtesy of Gaelle Beri.
For more on the Edinburgh International Festival programme click here.