Pulp reunite for 2011 concerts

Band gets back together despite Jarvis Cocker once saying he 'couldn't really see the point' of reforming

Pulp's lead singer, Jarvis Cocker, once professed he "couldn't really see the point" in reconstituting the group, but their fans were delighted today when plans to reunite for live shows next year were announced.

In a short statement the band, which alongside Blur and Oasis defined the Britpop era, promised to play fan favourites as they confirmed dates at the Wireless festival in Hyde Park and at Spain's Primavera Sound festival, both next summer. A tour could follow.

Pulp are the latest band to reform amid a wave of nostalgia, stretching from Led Zeppelin's comeback gig at the O2 arena in London in 2007 to Spandau Ballet's recent world tour.

But perhaps the most successful have been two other stalwarts of the 1990s; Blur, who reunited in 2009, with a headline slot at Glastonbury festival, and Take That, recently reunited with fifth member Robbie Williams.

Pulp appear to be prepared for the onslaught of questions that inevitably accompany news of a band's reunion.

Today the band's website, pulppeople.com, was emblazoned with rolling messages such as "Is this a collective midlife crisis?", "Is this too good to be true?" and "Is this an opportunity to reappraise the past through the prism of the present day?" – the kind of satirical musings typical of a band who prided themselves on being pop's misfits, and who took almost two decades to reach the mainstream.

Pulp originally formed in Sheffield in 1978, establishing a cult fanbase before breaking into the mainstream with their 1995 single Common People.

The same year, the band stood in for the Stone Roses to headline Glastonbury. They released seven albums before splitting in 2002.

Cocker has since established a successful career as a solo artist and cultural commentator.

Their forthcoming shows will be the first time the classic Pulp lineup – comprising Cocker, drummer Nick Banks, keyboard player Candida Doyle, bassist Steve Mackey, guitarist and violinist Russell Senior and third guitarist Mark Webber – have played together since 1996.

Among the many fans to express their delight over the news of Pulp's reunion was BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens. "I'm 29 now, so I was a fan of Pulp when I was a teenager and they were at the height of their fame," he told the Guardian.

"Pulp always offered something more literal, mysterious and interesting than all those other bands that were lumped under the 'Britpop' tagline."

Only last year, Cocker himself denied rumours that Pulp would be reuniting.

"Pulp have no plans to get back together," he told the Guardian in October 2009.

"Someone asked me if I fancied playing at the 40th anniversary of Glastonbury, I said yes, they twisted that into a 'Pulp re-form' story. It's not true."

In 2007, Cocker told one reporter: "Hell would have to freeze over first! ... There is no barrier other than the fact that at the moment I can't really see a point."

However, further reports suggested Cocker, possibly with a degree of irony, had said he was waiting to see how successful Blur's reunion was before committing to Pulp, with the Sun reporting that he said: "It all depends on how much money is on the table."

The band members have yet to offer a full comment on why they have decided to reunite now. Closing their truncated statement yesterday, the band simply quoted the title of one of their most famous songs, asking: "Do you remember the first time?"


Rosie Swash

The GuardianTramp

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