Pulp bargains for common people as band’s furniture goes for auction

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THIS really is furniture in a different class!

Fans of Sheffield band Pulp are getting the chance to buy unique keepsakes from the indie heroes’ reunion this summer - a selection of chairs, lamps, desks and tables used to decorate their rehearsal space as they prepared for the rapturously-received gigs.

Rachel Mottram and the pod chairs at her Sharrow Vale Road shop.

Rachel Mottram and the pod chairs at her Sharrow Vale Road shop.

Design specialists Bullet, based on Sharrow Vale Road, were asked by guitarist Russell Senior earlier this year to kit out the band’s temporary home at Axis Studios, on Paternoster Row, in a style that fitted with the group’s visual image.

Bullet are now selling the items for hundreds of pounds apiece on auction website eBay, and devoted fans from around the globe have been in touch desperate to buy their favourite band’s furniture.

At the height of their success in the 1990s, Pulp celebrated the colourful and kitsch styles of the 1960s and 70s - so Bullet supplied the band with suitably retro furnishings, including six quirky ‘pod’ chairs and a vintage armchair that proved a hit with Jarvis Cocker.

Rachel Mottram, who runs Bullet with her business partner Marvin Lee, said she was ‘very excited’ when pal Russell called her in January, commissioning them to create the perfect Pulp space in which the band could practise for five months.

Bullet specialise in furniture, lighting, storage and accessories from the mid-to-late 20th century, and regularly provide props for television, film and theatre productions which require an authentic period look.

“We’ve known Russell Senior for quite a few years because he’s always dabbled in antiques,” Rachel said.

“When Pulp were reforming he gave us a call and asked if we’d like to do their rehearsal studio space, lounge area and reception.

“We were very excited about it, it came completely out of the blue.

“All the band loved it, they thought it was brilliant. We didn’t have to source anything at all - it was already stuff that we had in stock.”

The 1970s pod chairs were placed around a dining table in the lounge area, with one for each member.

“There aren’t any manufacturer’s marks on them, but we got them from a dealer in Europe,” said Rachel.

Also heading for eBay is a chrome and leather armchair with matching stool, also from the 1970s and made by sought-after English firm Pieff.

“Russell reported back that that was Jarvis’ favourite chair,” Rachel said.

“When we came back to take all the stuff away the chair had been taken from the lounge area into the rehearsal space. He’d liked the chair so much he’d had it moved!”

Industrial-style desks, a Rodney Kinsman three-seater sofa, Corbusier sofas and large arc lamps are set for auction too.

But at least two items in the rehearsal studio won’t be sold, despite impassioned pleas from Pulp fanatics.

The reception area wall was adorned with perhaps the most coveted Pulp relic - the original neon lights from the Common People video, spelling out the band’s name.

Rachel said: “These have been in storage for a while, since they were used 14 or 15 years ago.

“They don’t actually belong to us and won’t be coming up for sale!

“A chap asked if he could just rent them for a week to look at!”

Russell also brought along his own favourite seating for the sessions - a green Charles Eames fibreglass chair.

“Wherever he goes he always takes one of these chairs with him. They are comfortable, I think he just likes them!” Rachel laughed.

Bullet cleared the furniture out of the rehearsal space just before the band played their first reunion gig in Toulouse, France.

“Russell asked us not to sell the stuff immediately and not to do anything with the photos until they’d finished touring,” Rachel said. “They didn’t want anybody to know where they were rehearsing.”

- Visit http://stores.ebay.co.uk/bullet-showroom