Jarvis Cocker (born 19.9.1963) Jarvis Cocker is an English songwriter, singer and musician. He first rose to fame in the 1990s when his band, Pulp, was part of the popular Britpop movement.
Childhood: Jarvis Cocker was born in Sheffield, in Northern England. His father, Mac, moved to Sydney, Australia - leaving the family behind. Mac was an actor and a DJ. Jarvis and his sister were raised by their mother, who is now a Conservative councillor. In 1998, Cocker and his sister travelled to Australia to visit their father for the first time. Mac Cocker had sustained a successful radio DJ career (possibly aided by the fact that he encouraged rumours that he was Joe Cocker's brother) and had moved to a hippie commune in Darwin.
At the age of 25, Jarvis Cocker moved to London to study Fine Art and Film at Central St. Martins. He graduated in 1991.
Music Career: Pulp was originally formed as Arabacus Pulp (a term picked up by Cocker in an Economics lesson). Cocker was 15 at the time. The name was later changed to Pulp and they released three albums between 1983 and 1992 (If, Freaks and Separations). Following Jarvis Cocker's hiatus to study in London, the band finally found fame in the 1990s.
The band's breakthrough album, His 'n' Hers was released in 1994 on Island Records and included the singles 'Babies', 'Do You Remember The First Time?' and 'Lipgloss'.
In 1995, Pulp released Different Class, which performed even better than its predecessor and was the winner of that year's Mercury Music Prize. The album launched the singles 'Common People' and 'Mis-Shapes'.
Different Class would prove to be the band's biggest hits. The two follow-ups, This Is Hardcore (released in 1998) and We Love Life (released in 2001) were both successful but never quite achieved the same success as Different Class. Following the release of a greatest hits album, the band went on hiatus and remain so.
During Pulp's golden years of Britpop, Jarvis Cocker often guested on TV programmes and even presented his own arts series for Channel 4 entitled Journeys Into the Outside. In 1996, Spitting Image performed a parody of 'Common People'.
At the 1996 BRIT Awards, Jarvis Cocker took umbrage at Michael Jackson's self-important performance of 'Earth Song', in which he set himself up as a Christ-like figure, surrounded by children and a rabbi. Jarvis Cocker and his friend Peter Mansell invaded the stage during the performance and Jarvis waggled his bottom at the audience. Jarvis Cocker was detained by the police on suspicion of assault. The comedian Bob Mortimer, a former solicitor, accompanied him and represented him in a legal capacity. Jarvis Cocker was released without charge. Following the incident, Pulp's record sales went through the roof and a £30,000 waxwork figure of Jarvis Cocker was placed in situ at Rock Circus.
In 2003, Jarvis Cocker adopted the pseudonym Darren Spooner, for his band Relaxed Muscle.
In November 2006, Jarvis Cocker released his debut solo album, entitled Jarvis. The following year, he appeared on Pocket Symphony, by Air.
The 2007 Meltdown Festival at London's Southbank Centre was curated by Jarvis Cocker and he chose acts as diverse as Devo, Motorhead and Roky Erikson to perform.
In May 2009, Jarvis Cocker released Further Complications, which featured the singled 'Angela' and 'Girls Like It Too'. The album was recorded by Steve Albini.
Jarvis Cocker has undertaken a number of side projects and collaborations. In 1996, he appeared on Lush's album Lovelife, performing a duet with their singer Miki Berenyi. He also wrote a number of songs for The All Seeing I's album Pickled Eggs & Sherbert. Jarvis Cocker has sung with Nancy Sinatra and Marianne Faithfull.
Personal Life: Jarvis Cocker lived in Paris with his wife Camille Bidault-Waddington. They have a son together, Albert, who was born in April 2003. Camille and Jarvis divorced in 2009, on amicable terms.
On the South East coast of England, in the once resplendent seaside resort of Margate, By The Sea Festival took up residency in the re-imagined heritage pleasure park, Dreamland. After the success of Foals and Hot Chip in its inaugural year By The Sea returned to a resurgent Margate to blend the established with the up and coming in an environment like no other. Amongst the helter skelter, big wheel, carousels and coasters the various artists took to the stages (and decks) in the wonderfully evocative Roller Disco, down at the dodgems or in the newly restored Hall By The Sea. With Kiss Me Quick cocktails and enough locally brewed cider to entice The Wurzels the amassed throngs were in for a very entertaining weekend.
Wild Beasts ("They're so f'ing sexy"-Blaine Harrison, Mystery Jets) got off to a cracking start in the Hall By The Sea with a pumped up version of 'Big Cat' and an impromptu birthday celebration for "ideosynchratic drummer" Chris Talbot before launching into a sizemic, shape shifting and floor shaking rendition of 'He The Colossus' and a wonderful working of 'Wanderlust'. The Kendal foursome sounded on top of their game, channelling circa '82 Simple Minds, ahead of their upcoming live set on 6Music.
In the shabby chic surroundings of the kitsch come cool Roller Disco, Mystery Jets got joyously playful with 'Flash A Hungry Smile'. After the initial grief imparted in 'Telomere' they ramped up the tempo and asked the assembled masses, "do you feel like dancing?" A blinding rendition of their single, 'Bubblegum', ensued. Taken from the band's latest album, 'Curve Of The Earth', it easily got the biggest interaction of the night so far. The Middlesex quartet followed up with another crowd pleaser, 'Young Love', and quite bizarrely another birthday shout-out, this time for Gary who did all of the MJ's art work! With apparently "too many tracks for just one album this year" the band took to a highlight off their new 5 track E.P, 'The Whole Earth', 'The World Is Overtaking Me' sounded spectacular, with front man Blaine and his three cohorts synched in tight unison, delivering a belting track replete with (Tubeway Army era) Numan esc keyboard loop, they sounded awesome; full of passion and presence as well as full of love for their fellow performers, especially The Big Moon, Wild Beasts and Meilyr Jones (at one time late on in his set striking a quick Bowie pose whilst teasing us with an all too brief classic Bowie riff) Mystery Jets pitched it perfectly in the Roller Disco with a short, sharp very entertaining set that left you just aching for a little more.
It turns out that the girl who "came from Greece and had a thirst for knowledge" might well be the current Greek finance minister's wife!
Ever since it was released nearly twenty years ago, music fans have speculated as to the inspiration behind Pulp’s classic single ‘Common People’. Now, a Greek newspaper has come up with a theory that the girl who “studied sculpture at St. Martin’s College” is the wife of the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
The Athens Voice believes that it has worked out that the girl who told the group’s lead singer Jarvis Cocker that she wanted to “live like common people” is Varoufakis’s wife Danae Stratou, a Greek installation artist, and a new interview with the finance minister took the rumour a step closer to reality.
Jarvis Cocker performing live in 2011
Continue reading: We Might Have Just Found Out Who Inspired Pulp's 'Common People'!
The lead singer of Pulp apparently wants us to live in caves, free from the distractions of modern life and technology. After you, Jarvis.
Writing in the latest edition of Another Man, the outspoken singer invited readers to imagine a life with “no phone reception. No wi-fi. No TV. No radio”. It is his belief that the interference of modern technology prevents people from finding peace.
Jarvis Cocker, performing with Pulp in 2011, has seemingly had enough of modern technology
Pulp's Common People is the ultimate Britpop track
Pulp's Common People has been named the ultimate Britpop anthem by BBC6 Music listeners, beating the likes of The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony and Oasis's Wonderwall. More than 300,000 listeners voted for the track to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 90's genre - which created various personalities but very few decent bands.
Jarvis Cocker and Pulp Wrote The Greatest Britpop Song, Apparently
One of those decent bands - who were actually excellent - were Pulp, Jarvis Cocker's Sheffield outfit.
Continue reading: Is Pulp's 'Common People' Really The Best Britpop Anthem?
Cocker's 29 December 'Sunday Service' broadcast will be his last for a number of months
Jarvis Cocker has apparently been taking a note out of Justin Bieber's book, by announcing his year-long hiatus from his popular radio show Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service. In a recent sit-down with the Radio Times, the Pulp frontman said that he has decided to take a year off so he can return to 6 Music "stronger and more vigorous."
Cocker is a firm favourite with 6 Music listeners
Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service has become a firm favourite with 6 Music listeners since it debuted back in 2010 and his announcement will no doubt come as a disappointment to some, however Cocker insists that his break from the weekly show will only be temporary and that he will be making his voice heard on the station from time to time over the next twelve months. Still, 2014 will be a quiet year as far as Cocker is concerned, as he plans on concentrating on his personal life and other professional commitments.
Continue reading: Jarvis Cocker Announces Year-Long Hiatus From BBC Radio 6 Music
Beck's Song Reader might be a stroke of genius.
It is perhaps Beck's strangest album. Song Reader - the record made up entirely of sheet music - was played in full at London's Barbican Theatre on Sunday (July 7, 2013), with a huge cast of musicians including Jarvis Cocker, Franz Ferdinand and Beth Orton. This potentially had disaster written all over it, though reviews suggest the album was perfectly realised in the historic setting.
Song Reader contains twenty new songs, all publishing on song sheets. The tracks are scored for keys, guitar and voice though Beck's intention was for fans to elaborate and change the songs to their liking. As noted by the Financial Times' Ludovic Hunter-Tilney in his review, songwriter Ed Harcourt was given that job on the piano. He was accompanied by flugelhorns, ukuleles, drums and guitars. The veteran punk poet John Cooper Clarke read prose between songs while female vocal trio The Staves helped out on vocals.
David Smyth of the Evening Standard suggested the concert will have encouraged fans to have a go themselves, writing, "The songs Beck performed himself sounded the most predictable, with acoustic guitar to the fore, though a jazzy, catchy Do We, We Do would have stood out regardless of the singer. For those buying the book in the lobby, it was a case of do try this at home."
Continue reading: Song Reader: Beck Plays Album Of Sheet Music At London's Barbican
A little help from my friends: Beck performs his latest 'Song Reader' album during an evening that saw performances from Franz Ferdinand, Jarvis Cocker, The Mighty Boosh, Beth Orton and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Depending on the way you look at it, Beck's decision to release his last album in the form of sheet music was either incredibly innovative or unforgivably pretentious. Released in December 2012, Song Reader comprised of twenty songs in sheet music form as well as over one hundred pages of art. The idea behind the unusual decision was to let the fan become the composer, with many interpretations quickly surfacing online showing the versatility of the pieces.
Prolific Experimentalist Beck Invited A Host Of Artists To Help Him Perform Song Reader live.
This was all very well if you're a Beck fan with some degree of musical talent but for those hungering for the white rap of Odelay, the pop experimentation of Midnite Vultures or the sweet melancholy of Sea Change were left feeling a little bemused and perhaps even cheated.
Continue reading: Beck Summons An Army To Help Him Turn 'Song Reader' Into Music
Pulp is back, and not back like they were last year, doing a bit of touring, but properly back with new music and everything. Their latest track - the first new one in ten years - is called After You.
Well, 'new' is a bit rich given that it was first written and recorded back in 2001, but was rejected from their 'We Love Life' album, according to the Metro, however they've brought it back from the dead and what wasn't quite right then, is right now having been rerecorded. Either that or they're out of good ideas but still want to sell records again.
It was released on Christmas day and fans that had been to see them in Sheffield earlier in the month were given codes to access on the internet. "We got you a little present but you can't open it til Xmas Day, OK?" the cards said, with a further message on the website: "No peeking before then! That would be naughty."
Continue reading: Pulp's Ten Year Hiatus Properly Over With New Track 'After You'
The answer, of course, is no. But it's that time of year again folks: the Q Magazine Awards! Muse picked up the biggest gong at the event in London on Monday afternoon (October 22, 2012) known for rewarding middle-of-the-road and aging rock acts with offensively generic prizes such as one that now sits proudly on Matt Bellamy's mantelpiece.
Though Blur have been excellent in the handful of shows they've played since reforming, were they really befitting of best live act? Saying that, they were going up against The Stones Roses in a farce of a category. Dance act Underworld received the 'Innovation in Sound' award - whatever that is - while Jarvis Cocker picked up the 'Inspiration Award.' Q magazine editor Andrew Harrison told the BBC, "Our bands and our anthems transformed the Olympics... and amazing comeback shows from Blur and the Stone Roses showed the enduring appeal of our best-loved musicians." Hmm, ok Andrew, but what about the new British acts? Well, Emile Sande won best solo artist in another bizarre category featuring Noel Gallagher and Adele, while American soul star Bobby Womack won best album for 'The Bravest Man in the Universe.'
Elsewhere, Dexys Midnight Runners took home the Q Icon Award, Johnny Marr won Q Hero, and The Cribs won the 'Spirit of Independence Award.' Anyone hazard a guess at who won the Q 'Idol' award? Clue: frontman of The Killers. Sigh.
Jarvis Cocker has reviewed the latest book to be have been published about The Beatles. 'The John Lennon Letters', edited by Hunter Davies, is a collection of missives from the late Beatles’ songwriter, dating from between 1951 and 1980. Cocker questions the real value in these pop history artefacts, drawing attention to the fact that the source material was largely sourced from private collections; from people who have paid vast sums of money to own a piece of Lennon’s personal history and the former Pulp singer asks whether the books say more about the culture of collecting pop memorabilia than the words of the letters can ever say themselves.
“I love the Beatles. I haven't named any kids after them but I still really love them,” says Cocker and he painfully recalls the way in which the ‘Britpop’ era was damaged by that very nostalgia that permeates collections such as this. “Wearing the same clothes and taking the same drugs will not make us into Beatles. It will make us fat and ill. And books like this (along with many others, I admit) are what make that mistake possible. The Beatles didn't know they were the Beatles. The Beatles didn't have a plan or a blueprint to follow. They followed their impulses and vague hunches and somehow left a legacy of 213 songs with scarcely a dud among them. That's all the information you need, really.”
In essence, Cocker describes the hoarde of surviving Beatles fans as “the children of the echo” and suggests that we should all “get a life” and “move on,” rather than obsessing over trivia such as is contained herein.
Date of birth
19th September, 1963
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