National Trust disco?

25 May

Not many people have mentioned this before, so I thought I might as well…

Maybe because it’s unkind, or maybe because it’s stating the bleeding obvious, but… these days Jarvis Cocker (for it is he) looks like a geography teacher.

Not that that makes him a worse person or anything, and his superior “Sunday Service” show on BBC 6Music is certainly one of the best things on the entire radio network. In fact, he is, along with Paul McCartney, Stephen Fry and the late John Peel – a British national treasure. Despite living in France.

So it may not be altogether surprising to find out that the former voice of Pulp has compiled an album for the National Trust, those nice people who look after Britain’s national parks, stately homes and the like. After all, he did once record a song called Trees.

It’s actually online – the National Trust album that is –
and legally available for free download here.

However, Jarvis neither plays nor sings on the album, although it may be his footsteps you hear walking through the leaves on one track. Or not.

For this is a sort of sound effects album, featuring birdsong, creaky staircases, clocks gently ticking, waves lapping the English shore and the noise (or the lack of it) of the country.

Jarvis himself said of the project:

“I hope this album is a “Holiday for the Ears”. It’s not really meant to be listened to intently, like a piece of music, but more as something to have on in the background to aid relaxation or contemplation. Plus, you get to visit 13 National Trust properties in the space of 30 minutes. No mean feat. I hope it has the feel of one continuous journey and conjures up an image in the mind’s eye of the places featured. I also hope it could inspire the listeners to then visit the sites for themselves.”

So whereas Damon recorded a song about a very big house in the country, Jarvis recorded a very big house in the country. (Of course the Kinks wrote a song called House in the Country, but let’s not go there..)

For those of you expecting some Pulp to download you’ll just have to make do with these cover versions (bad cover versions – get it? Oh, please yourselves) from Spain, a Catalan version of Common People by some fellows called Manel and a glockenspiel recorded live in a Barcelona market and a Spanish version of Something Changed complete with sorry “students-wandering-around-Madrid” video uploaded by a fan and not an official music or concert video by Astrud, the band responsible.

Try and enjoy them.

Manel – Common People (in Catalan)
Astrud – Something Changed (in Spanish)

Oh, and in case the covers aren’t your cup of tea, how about Jarvis’ heartfelt tribute show celebrating the one and only John Peel.

Jarvis Cocker Peel Tribute Radio Show

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