The Feeling Gloomy Blog!

 

We had this sent in by a Feeling Gloomy fan and enjoyed it so much we decided to stick it up!

 

Below are my ramblings relating to Different Class and how it's interacted with my life over the years. They are in a rough order. There is no great message in them. Take them as you will. Just one lump please.


20 years since the release of Different Class? Can it really be? It seems so long ago, in a very different England. Of course we are all classless by then, though the net curtains still twitched now and again...
 

I recall the anticipation around the release. Common People had been released some time in advance of the album, in May fact. It jolted him from my slumber blaring from my clock radio most mornings. Yet this was only a teaser for what was to come. In the interim I contented myself with spooling His N Hers on repeat on my Walkman as I cycled along the canal to the factory where I was assembling widgets. It was quite calming cycling along to Babies while my bike sent the local mallards fleeing for their lives.


Then finally, the summer was over and October dawned. Pulp had played a triumphant Glastonbury set after the Stone Roses had decided that camping wasn't for them. Would the album live up to my hopes? The answer was resounding yes. I recall rushing down to the local record shop, it was a funny independent one where they could either be really nice to you or utterly horrible (I don't recall the reception that day), it didn't matter. I had the album in my sweaty palms! For the rest of the day there was the frustration of not being able to actually listen to it until I made it home (note to kids, I had the CD version but no portable CD player and downloads, well they were something your Uncle Charlie did after Christmas dinner). I legged it home slammed it in the decks, chucked in a tape to record it (more on that later) and sat in my rather chilly bedroom taking in it's aural vista.
 

What did I think on that first listen? Being on honest I don't recall but I must have been impressed enough as it was the sound track to my journey to college ever morning for the next 6 months at least. I could time my journey by where I was on the cassette (I told you that was relevant. Who said home taping killed music?). I left the house to Mis-Shapes pumping in my ears. Hit the local brewery just as I-Spy reaches it's peak, at which point, I'd have to resist the urge to break in to a slight skip, and rolled up to my destination to Disco 2000 (trying not to sing the final 'Oooooooo' as I entered the doors, people can be funny about that sort of thing).
 

I won't dwell on it track by track. I have my favourites, though I like everything on it, some I favour more than others and certain bits of tape probably got more of a battering than others.
 

Obviously my mate's wanted to tape it fairly soon after, much to my chagrin. After all it was my blinking CD, they were pinching a part of my soul (or at least part of the £15 I had shelled out, CDs were not cheap in them days). I gave in, though the chinese burns might have sharped my mind.
 

Outside of the album my wardrobe around this time acquired a lot more man made fibres and I must have been fairly unpleasant to sit next to in lectures. Despite what they said about nylon being the fibre of the future, it don't half hum if you've been jogging to lectures. My walls incorporated a small shrine to Pulp, though I drew the line at affecting a northern accent and applying to study art at some ponce-fest in London.
 

Unforgivably I'd managed to miss the last of the smaller gigs Pulp had done so I was determined to not miss out on Brixton Academy, it would be their last 'Smallish' (and I use the word advisedly) gig before the arena tour. Cue sitting by the phone (landline, I wasn't one of the rich kids who had one of them new fangled 'mobile' phones) and calling round all the ticket agencies. 'No sorry mate, none left', 'nope all gone'. The despair, I now knew how J.R Hartley felt. A last throw of the dice. Stargreen I think it was. 'You do? My name? It's....J.R...no not really'. Success! Two tickets!
 

Sadly when the day arrived no one would come with me. I had the hottest ticket in town and yet like I was going to club, to stand on my own and leave on my own to mangle the words of Morrissey. Why were people turning this chance of a lifetime down? Well, it wasn't anything to do with the enthralling company I'm sure. Perhaps they were rubbish. Perhaps they had no taste. Perhaps they were frightened by the riots that had broken out in Brixton a while previously. Probably the latter, though they would never admit it (and they were only small riots). So I had the humiliation of flogging my ticket to a tout who proceeded to try and fleece me 'No mate, these are for upstairs, no use to me'. They were for downstairs dear reader, I know, I was there... I should have have thrown them in his face and shouted, 'You, Sir are a cad' and then given the ticket to some deserving soul. I didn't. You live and learn eh?
 

This small unpleasantness out of the way I made my way to Brixton Academy. The gig? Well it was everything I could ask for. The band were in imperious form and Jarvis Cocker was like a god nipping down from Olympus to dwell among us mortals in Kwik Save. To hear those tunes that I must have played hundreds of times already by that point was thrilling. Underwear, Live Bed Show, the lot. Bar Italia wrapped it all up, a fitting climax to the whole affair. It couldn't get much better than this. My lofty thoughts were brought crashing down by two Eton types twittering (no not that sort, it's still the 90's remember?) on. 'Great gig, but they should have ended on Common People' one drawled in his expensively acquired accent. 'Common People?' Have you listened to the lyrics Charlie Ponsonby-Smythe? It's about people like you!'. Chaz P-S didn't see it that way, perhaps it was the mention of the Greek race, perhaps it was because he though it didn't apply to him, perhaps he was just as stupid as he looked. Either way it was some years before I could listen to Common People easily again. Cheers Chaz...
 

I saw Pulp a number of times after that. Met Jarvis Cocker quite a few. Every now and again I would dust off Different Class and pop it on the CD player/Ipod/computer (delete as applicable). Would it be as good as I recalled? Yes, every time. It is an album, though redolent of a certain time (Major's Britain, Tony Blair was 2 years away from invent 'Cool Britannia' and inviting pop stars for canapes at Number 10), that hasn't dated. Stick it on and my aged limbs will still twitch in paroxycsms, my foot may even tap and you might even get a small leap off the ground at the climax of Common People. I'm not one for glorying in the past, hearing Sorted For E's and Whizz does not make me long to be 18 again, the past is the past, retro is fun but the future is more exciting and Pulp's music always looked to the future. A future of synths, electric violins and music that music that will take us to the stars- even if at the present moment we are face down in the gutter. Now where did I stash that nylon shirt?

 

The Copper Chinoed Kid- 2015