Last week Gaypop and I fully abused a free bar at the launch party of new music magazine Popworld Pulp. Held at Soho Revue Bar, it involved a very boring set from a band so dreadful I can’t even remember their name, and a special appearance from Patrick Wolf. I’d seen him before do a short set at Trash Palace which involved him and Patricia Quinn doing a rather mind-twisting version of the Time Warp but not really a set of any great length. Put up against a bunch of corporate blaggers who didn’t really want to pay attention, Patrick launched into an offensive where he kung-fu kicked someone in the chest, stole beer, danced with a broom, knocked a glass of champagne from a hand smashing it onto the floor and telling us all to “fuck off home, have sex and die of aids”. Lovely.
Anyway this launch party was last Tuesday. Yesterday (i.e. 8 days later) it was announced that the magazine has been shut down. Conceived as a rival to the NME, its demographic was set as 15 – 24 with a slight male bias but the content was lacking anything very unique or gripping. There were instead just lots of nice photos with not very many words about pretty obscure indie acts. Far away from the original Popworld brand, Pulp was trying to be very, very cool. And what was with the name? I can only imagine the brainstorm went something like “Oh no, Popworld makes us sound like it’s a pop magazine. What can we do to make it sound more indie? *thinks of some indie bands* Hey! What about Pulp? Not only is it the name of a band, but it’s also what paper is made of – and a magazine is made of paper. OMG. OMG. OMG. Signs it off.”
A year in development and only two issues made, I just don’t understand how it got to a stage where 14 staff were employed and a load of money was spent on something which to everyone I’ve spoken to about it seemed blindingly obvious was going to fail. The way music is consumed nowadays by that age group doesn’t at all call for a weekly mag – I am just absolutely baffled as to how they thought it was going to work. I can only think someone really wanted to do it and ran away with the idea as their own little baby. Baffling. More about the mag here and about Patrick here.