Gary Flockhart: Common People are top of the Britpops

Jarvis Cocker. Pic: PA
Jarvis Cocker. Pic: PA
Have your say

WHO were the definitive band of the Britpop era for you? For my money, Pulp were hands-down the best.

I was lucky enough to be in attendance at Glastonbury in 1995 when Jarvis Cocker, the band’s stick-thin, bespectacled singer, had the crowd in the palm of his hand from start to finish.

The Stone Roses, of course, were booked to headline the main stage, but pulled out at the last minute.

Admittedly, I wanted to see the Roses as much as anyone, but Pulp... well, watching them instead was never going to be a hardship.

And neither was it. The Sheffield band stepped in at the 11th hour and the rest, as they say, is history.

With a set that included the live debuts of Disco 2000 and Sorted For E’s And Wizz and, of course, Common People, Pulp’s performance is regarded by many as one of the best in the festival’s history.

That was my first and only trip down to Glastonbury, and Pulp’s headline set was certainly one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Among Britpop’s holy trinity of Oasis, Blur and Pulp, there’s no doubt the latter were the least fashionable – but that’s not the case today.

Last week, Pulp’s Common People, was voted the top Britpop anthem by listeners of BBC Radio 6 Music, and while I don’t think it’s even their best song (I prefer Razzmatazz, Lipgloss and Do You Remember The First Time?), I’m glad to see them beating Blur and Oasis to take the title.

More than 30,000 music fans voted, with The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony second and the Oasis tracks Don’t Look Back In Anger and Wonderwall in third and fourth.

In my view, Pulp were something different from the others. Their androgynous image belied the 
laddishness of the majority of the other bands of the era, and they seemed fantastically out of step with their peers.

Not only that, but while the likes of Oasis churned out what I like to call ‘nursery rhymes for the drunk’, Pulp wrote proper pop songs.

Great to see them get their due.