Why Pulp fact is story with a happy ending

Pulp Movie
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They were the mis-shapes who made it, writes John Quinn.

A group of people continually written off as no-hopers whose self-belief saw them not only survive but thrive and finally return to their home town with a triumphant comeback – so it is hardly surprising that the story of Pulp has been made into a movie.

From their early days when the teenage Jarvis Cocker dared to dream that some day he could become a pop star despite looking nothing like a pop star was supposed to, through the trials and tribulations of dodgy record deals and an ever-changing line-up, it took a decade before he had found a stable – at least in terms of longevity – bunch of cohorts.

They helped him get it together enough for all their talents to shine through.

Massive success in the mid-’90s followed and then things just seemed to die off, with no band action for almost another decade before a live comeback was crowned with a show at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena at the end of 2012.

It wasn’t quite a full stop to their career, as they performed a couple of concerts on a cruise ship early the next year and you can never say never where Pulp are concerned, as periods of hibernation have been a common factor of their career.

But meanwhile, movie director Florian Habicht has been working on Pulp: A Film About Life, Death And Supermarkets, which gets its European premiere at cinemas across Britain on Saturday.

One of these showings will be at an already sold-out Sheffield City Hall, where it is the main attraction on the opening night of Sheffield Doc Fest.

The band will be there and taking part in a question and answer session afterwards hosted by Mark Radcliffe and beamed across to the other cinemas showing the movie.

Habicht himself is a New Zealander who had never been to Sheffield before making the movie so he offers a fresh perspective with members of the public and the show’s attendees also being interviewed and in some cases offering their own idiosyncratic versions of the band’s greatest hits.

It’s Pulp fact rather than fiction, and like all the best tales has a happy ending.