You can keep your Oasis and your Blur – for my money, Pulp were the kings of Britpop– although, in truth, they’d been struggling along in relative obscurity for more than a decade before reaching their creative peak in the early 90s just as the Britpop movement was gathering speed.
Arguably, their best – certainly their most successful – albums were 1994’s His ‘n’ Hers and Different Class in 1995, both of which were packed with brilliant, bittersweet – with the emphasis on bitter – pop-rock songs that explored in devastating, scathing fashion the bleak reality of the day-to-day monotony and hardships of working-class British life, along with the seedier, sleazier, more sordid side of love and relationships.
Here are live versions of two of the darker songs from the earlier, pre-Different Class part of this era.
First, possibly my favourite Pulp song, Razzmatazz – describing the decline of a shallow, cock-sure party girl after her boyfriend leaves her – filmed at Glastonbury in 1994:
And here is Acrylic Afternoons, filmed at Brixton Academy in 1995 for the F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.I.V.E. concert film: