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Sunday, 27 August, 2000, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Reading Diary 2: Pulp and Beck reign supreme
Jarvis Cocker
Appealing to the Common People
By BBC Monitoring's Martin Vennard

Two thin white men battled it out for top spot with the public on Saturday night at the Reading Festival.

Jarvis Cocker and his group Pulp were more one for the fan, while Beck and his band seemed to appeal to a wider audience with their mix of white soul, funk and blues.

Beck, whose band were the penultimate group on the main stage, is no easy act to follow and it might have been better if they and not Pulp had brought the night to a climax.

The little guy with a big voice buried the myth that white men can't sing the blues as he sprang about the stage to music by his brash and brassy band.

Beck and brash and brassy band
He may sing songs like Loser, but he was anything but that with the crowd and showed his versatility by picking up the guitar and harmonica.

Despite Pulp's immediate appeal to the Common People, their opening song, their performance seemed slightly less in tune with the casual festival observer's taste.

As well as playing popular hits like Help the Aged, as promised, the thin white bloke also previewed new tracks like Sunrise, as he walked barefoot about the stage, to a backdrop of black and white and home movies.

Beck's reign and rain

But while Beck was happy just to entertain, it seemed like you needed to hear the lyrics of Cocker's songs, which was sometimes difficult, to truly appreciate them.
Romance in the Reading rain

Things had got off to a damp start on Saturday as it rained well into the afternoon, and waterproofs and plastic sheets replaced bare flesh as de rigueur festival fashion.

That didn't stop the Deftones stirring up the crowd at the front of the main stage into their own kind of storm with their thrashing guitars and virtually bawled lyrics.

Despite their hard exterior something more melodic did manage to make itself heard.

... and sunshine

Elastica produced much gentler sounds and climes as the sun came out for their poppier mix of guitars, keyboards and even tom-toms.

The Super Furry Animals, part of a strong Welsh presence, attracted the St David's flag-waving crowd with their animal antics.
Gomez's Tom Gray: teenage appeal

Gomez attracted passionate support - but the group announced that Reading was one of their last live performances of rock, blues and funk for quite some time.

With Sunday's weather starting distinctly brighter than Saturday's and Stereophonics, Placebo and Rage Against the Machine due to play, Reading fans can look forward to a bright last day.

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See also:

27 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Reading Festival in pictures
26 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Reading Diary 1: Oasis in lightning form
26 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Oasis take Reading by storm
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