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15 June 2002: Pulp - Sherwood Pines Forest Park, Nottingham, England, UK

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Talk about timing it right. I arrived at the venue at nine o'clock, totally missing the support band, and being the last car to be parked in the car park, to be told pulp would take to the stage at 20 past. This is the way i sometimes like to do things, having witnessed many abysmal support band's which don't justify the time and effort of turning up to see them. The fact that i had what i thought was a very bad case of hay fever at the time (which later turned out to actually be flu) didn't improve my enthusiasm for turning up early.

But the gig really improved the mood. Pulp took the stage, as promised, at about 20 past 9 and launched straight into "weeds", cocker prancing about in his own classic style.

Cocker bantered with the audience throughout, eating the odd packet of crisps thrown at him, taking his shoes off and waving his feet at us and generally appearing to enjoy himself immensely.

The final song before they left the stage was "sunrise", magical guitars singing out and bringing the main set to a classic close, leaving the audience begging for more.

Coming back on to perform "babies" (which was brilliant) left us with a deep craving for something else and the hope of hearing "do you remember the first time" as they came back on again filled me with expectation.

However, they went on to perform what turned out to be the highlight of the gig, which was the final encore. The band launching into a rehashed and darker version of "common people" with Jarvis Cock(er)ing it up spectacularly about 5 minutes in, only to restart it from the beginning, with superb vocals (the second time round) over a deep beat, building up to the classic chorus and seeing us leaving, as the light faded, happy and slightly bewildered by the greatness of it all.

Bugger of a traffic jam getting out though!

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