My Electric Picnic story originally published on NME.com
Pulp ended their summer reunion tour at Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival last night (September 4) with Jarvis Cocker hinting that the 90-minute set may have been their last ever gig.
Before launching into set closer ’Common People’, Cocker declared: “This may be the last time we’re ever all on stage together again.” Earlier in the set the Pulp frontman had told the 30,000-strong crowd in Stradbally, Co Laois, that: “This is the last gig of the tour, so if we start crying or get emotional, you’ll understand.”
However, his last words to the crowd as the band left the stage hinted that the band may yet return, with Cocker saying: “Maybe our paths will cross again.”
Pulp’s set was similar to their ecstatically received sets at Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds festivals earlier this month, taking in crowd-pleasing hits ’Mis-Shapes’, ’Do You Remember The First Time?’ and ’Common People’.
Throughout, a fired-up Cocker engaged with the crowd, peppering his between-song banter with quotes from Oscar Wilde, in reference to the names of one of the festival’s campsites.
Earlier in the weekend, the three-day festival drew well-received sets from Interpol, PJ Harvey, The Drums, Best Coast and The Rapture, among many others.
However, it was Arcade Fire’s return to the festival that hosted one of their most memorable shows — back in 2005 — that drew the weekend’s biggest crowd. In reference to that gig, frontman Win Butlertold the crowd on Saturday night: “The first time we played Electric Picnic, it pretty much changed our lives. So we wanted to come back to say, ‘Thank you’.”
With Butler stagediving from the main stage and the band opening with ’Wake Up’, he also declared: “We have two hometown shows. One in Montreal and one here in Ireland.”
The band’s set largely drew from current album ’The Suburbs’ with the band ending with an encore of ’Rebellion (Lies)’ and ’Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’.
Other memorable moments during a largely dry festival included a bizarre appearance by Toots And The Maytals. After just 30 seconds on stage, and with his microphone not working, Jamaican frontman Toots stormed off the festival’s main stage leaving his group to carry on the gig without him, much to the uproar of the gathered crowd.