7 July 2023
A really special thing happened on Saturday night. About 30 minutes before Pulp came on stage at Finsbury Park for what would turn out to be a truly celebratory reunion show to 45,000 people, the screens flickered into life and started playing the film we made with Child Studios in 2021.
The film, which we have deliberately kept away from social media to ensure that it gets seen in the big outdoor environment for which it was designed, charts the ‘progress’ of civilisation against the progress of music. As the music morphs from tribal songs and rhythms into the modern pop music in all its shades we know and love, the natural world turns from idyll into warzone. It’s beautiful and affecting and thought provoking and one of the best things we’ve done here.
As the end frame of NO MUSIC ON A DEAD PLANET came on screen there was a cheer. Then a round of applause.
We have been fortunate to have Jarvis as one of our supporters from the beginning, he held the original NO MUSIC ON A DEAD PLANET banner at the Q Awards for a photo that was widely reproduced in media, and his support to place the film in front of his and Pulp’s fans at the optimum moment once again demonstrated how recording artists can help get the message out to the general public in effective and creative ways.
The next day we were in Hyde Park at BST to witness Black Pink become the first K-Pop band to headline a UK festival. If you wanted a demonstration of the global nature of popular music, then this was it. Having a K-Pop expert in my house and having been fortunate enough to see the O2 show last year, I knew what to expect but the sheer range of a Black Pink fanbase, across age, gender and race is testament to the unifying power of pop.
We had brought the Fan Club For Climate on site and were signing up fans to join our latest campaign and become part of the Music Declares family. Having put our increasingly well known NMODAP tattoos on arms and other body parts of a suitably diverse bunch of people over the afternoon we were recognising a different round of applause, not audible perhaps but there in the interest in Fan Club and the work we do. The fans visiting the stall had the innate understanding that music could be a key part of bringing people together to make the changes we all need to secure the future. Maybe more importantly, their belief that music was important charged their belief that it could do important things.
And that’s the point really. One of the biggest barriers to the climate emergency is belief. Once we were told it wasn’t real. Now we are told that we can’t afford to fix it. Neither were nor are true. But neither is that we can fix this unless we believe we can.
So, when I looked over the crowd in Hyde Park on Sunday, lightsticks waving in unison to ‘Forever Young’ or joined Finsbury Park on Saturday in singing along to more Pulp songs than I knew I knew I was hit as I always am by the power of music to bring people together and allow them to share these moments of unity. As Pulp would have it, we’re all common people. But we do extraordinary things. Solving the climate emergency would be the most extraordinary. So, as both Jarvis Cocker and Jennie Kim put it over the weekend:
Are You Ready?