Jarvis – Paradiso, Amsterdam, 22/01/2007

If ever a man were born to be on stage, it’s Jarvis.

If ever a man were born to be on stage, it’s Jarvis.



His latest single may be called Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time but there really wasn’t any question of Jarvis doing that to an audience was there? After all, we’re talking about one of rock and roll’s greatest front men. This is the guy who single handedly turned Glastonbury 1998 from just another festival into one of the best gigs of the decade. (Yeah, I wish I’d been there too.) And let’s not forget, this is the man who upset Michael Jackson with the greatest arse wiggling moment in history, and for that he deserves a knighthood as far as I’m concerned.


All of that is in the past of course so, after a few years in the Parisian wilderness, Jarvis has returned with a cracking new album, (All the criticisms about it being a bit ‘one paced’ are a load of bollocks by the way), and more importantly back to the stage, which is where he belongs. If ever a man were born to be on stage, it’s Jarvis.


He may look like a pipe cleaner with hair and it’s true that he dances like some invisible puppeteer is in charge of his limbs but Jarvis has that David Byrne thing about him. By that I mean that he is a totally hypnotic presence on stage. You can’t take your eyes off him. There was a band on stage with Jarvis tonight but even now, only a couple of hours after the show, I can’t remember what a single one of them looked like. I do know, however, that they sounded fantastic.



The biggest compliment I can pay Jarvis, I think, is that, although there were no Pulp songs on offer tonight, we really didn’t miss them. Black Magic’s stop start rhythm simply pulsated, pounding life and energy into the veins of everybody in the crowd. Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time proved itself to be more than just a catchy single and I Will Kill Again was nothing short of astounding. The cover of Purple Haze may have contained a slight whiff of light entertainment around it, but there wasn’t single person in the room who didn’t think that Fat Children and Cunts Are Still Running The World were truly fantastic.


If he’s playing in a town near you, go and see him, I implore you. Witness one of the greatest performers of our times wiggle his arse and elbows in person. I feel proud to have simply stood within a few feet of him. Allow yourself the same life affirming experience, if you can. If you don’t, he may very well bugger off into the Parisian wilderness again.


Words: Damian Leslie