Jarvis Cocker’s first Sheffield gig for five years was my first visit to ‘The Plug’, a club complex reminiscent of Rock City, had it been built 25 years later without a balcony. The place was rammed and we didn’t bother trying to get a drink, but had a terrific view. The big change, now that Jarvis is solo, is that he gives his repartee full range (last time I saw him in Sheffield, with Pulp ten years ago, the old City Hall acoustics meant nobody could hear the jokes). So, although he only had the (patchy) new album to play, the set was stretched out with a load of humour, ranging from the early ‘be nice, me mam’s here’ to a bunch of local references that I won’t try to get right. (Jarvis may not have lived in the city for 20 years, but I haven’t lived there since I was two). I’ll leave that to Quinny’s review in the Star, which you can read here. There were times when Jarvis reminded me of another plain speaking (even more) local hero, Ray Gosling, with his passion to make the local universal and impatience with hypocrisy and gobshites. Most of the songs from the ‘Jarvis’ album sounded stronger live (although I would have liked to hear the only song he missed out, the one he wrote for Nancy Sinatra, ‘Baby’s Coming Back To Me’). Oh, and he encored with a terrific ‘Running The World’ (currently streaming on my myspace page and concluded with a song by a famous Sheffield band – no, not that one, it was a great version of the Human League’s ‘Being Boiled’. Welcome back, Jarvis, and thanks for the birthday present tickets, Mike, much appreciated.

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