Jarvis Cocker & Pulp 2023 reunion tour: Bristol concert venues that could host eagerly awaited return gig

The quirky Sheffield band set to reform next year, but where to play in Bristol?
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For those of us who were alive and well during the heyday of Britpop and Cool Britannia, we have no doubt heard the news that Sheffield indie-popsters Pulp are set to reform (again) for a series of shows in 2023.

The last time Jarvis Cocker and company performed in Bristol according to PulpWiki was April 21 1995 at Sound City, shortly before the band toured the Britpop classic Different Class.

But 25 years after that show at Sound City, we look at some of the venues the city has to offer now and ponder “where will Pulp play next year?”

Where could Pulp’s 2023 concert take place in Bristol?

Bristol Beacon

Members of Bristol’s event industry greet The Survival Tour cycle team outside the Bristol BeaconMembers of Bristol’s event industry greet The Survival Tour cycle team outside the Bristol Beacon
Members of Bristol’s event industry greet The Survival Tour cycle team outside the Bristol Beacon

Address: Trenchard St, Bristol

A music venue, an award-winning musical hub and a charity. Bristol Beacon is indeed a beacon of creativity since it completed the first stage of its regeneration in 2009.

Phase Two will be completed in 2023 with the opening of three international standard performance spaces and a National Centre for music performance, education and enterprise.

It feels like an ideal time to have someone like Pulp frequent the space, especially with its commitment to the community.

O2 Academy Bristol

The O2 Academy in Bristol will play host to Mercury nominee Wet Leg later in the year. Could it house Pulp in 2023?The O2 Academy in Bristol will play host to Mercury nominee Wet Leg later in the year. Could it house Pulp in 2023?
The O2 Academy in Bristol will play host to Mercury nominee Wet Leg later in the year. Could it house Pulp in 2023?

Address: Frogmore St, Bristol

Should news emerge that other shows as part of Pulp’s tour are to take place in other O2 Academy venues across the rest of the UK, it might be a fair assumption that Pulp may include the 1,650 capacity venue to their schedule.

The venue is set to host Mercury Music Prize 2022 nominee Wet Leg in November, and also see the likes of Scouting for Girls and BADBADNOTGOOD playing the venue later in the year.

Exchange

Could the intimacy of Exchange be something that Jarvis Cocker and company would gladly trade for a larger space?Could the intimacy of Exchange be something that Jarvis Cocker and company would gladly trade for a larger space?
Could the intimacy of Exchange be something that Jarvis Cocker and company would gladly trade for a larger space?

Address: 72, 73 Old Market St, Bristol

This small 250 capacity venue might not be the most sizeable for a band of Pulp’s ilk to perform in, but given the band’s underdog tendencies (see - Glastonbury 1995), the band could easily undertake a three night residency in the area…

… or maybe a secret performance as a warm up?

Lloyds Amphitheatre

Set on the waterside of Bristol’s floating harbor, Lloyds Amphitheater plays host to the annual Bristol Sounds.Set on the waterside of Bristol’s floating harbor, Lloyds Amphitheater plays host to the annual Bristol Sounds.
Set on the waterside of Bristol’s floating harbor, Lloyds Amphitheater plays host to the annual Bristol Sounds.

Address: Explore Lane, Harbourside Bristol

10,000 people next to Bristol’s historic floating harbour, singing along to “Disco 2000”, could be another great option should Pulp decide to go for sheer numbers of attendees rather than intimate performances.

They would be in good company - the amphitheatre hosts one of Bristol’s premiere music events, Bristol Sounds, and the outdoor setting could allow Pulp to curate a small, festival-like line up with numerous support acts on the bill.

Thekla

The story behind Thekla arriving into Bristol from its abandoned beginnings might be just the space for Pulp.The story behind Thekla arriving into Bristol from its abandoned beginnings might be just the space for Pulp.
The story behind Thekla arriving into Bristol from its abandoned beginnings might be just the space for Pulp.

Address: The Grove, East Mud Dock, Bristol

Words that have been used to describe Jarvis Cocker in the past; quirky, offbeat, eccentric, eclectic.

Words that can describe Thekla, a floating 400 capacity venue in East Mud Dock; quirky, offbeat, eccentric, eclectic.

After the ship ran aground and was abandoned for seven years in a derelict Sunderland dock, the ship was bought by Ki Longfellow-Stanshall and her husband Vivian Stanshall, and with a crew with no nautical experience sailed the ship for six days before reaching Bristol’s floating harbour.

It’s the story of Thekla itself we think might intrigue Pulp to perform there; cabaret, theatre and live music have all set foot on the good ship Thekla.

Pulp? My parents talk about them - but who are they?

Your parents have good taste to begin with. Be proud.

Asides from his work with Pulp, Jarvis has been known for his solo career, JARV.IS.Asides from his work with Pulp, Jarvis has been known for his solo career, JARV.IS.
Asides from his work with Pulp, Jarvis has been known for his solo career, JARV.IS.

Pulp were formed in Sheffield back in 1978 at The City School by a 15 year old Jarvis Cocker and Pete Dalton. Finding success on an independent level with the release of It, Freaks and Separation, it was the release of 1994’s His and Hers that brought them much more attention from mainstream audiences.

But during the heyday of Cool Britannia, it was the release of Different Class and the success of the single “Common People” that brought Pulp to the attention of the world.

With a highly regarded performance at Glastonbury Festival in 1995, replacing The Stone Roses, and Jarvis Cocker’s “appearance” during Michael Jackson’s performance at the 1996 BRIT Awards, Pulp became one of the “big four” Britpop acts at the time.

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