Jarvis Cocker

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Jarvis Cocker
Pulp @ Esplande Park (23 7 2011) (5993006163).jpg
Cocker performing in Perth, Australia, 2011
Background information
Birth name Jarvis Branson Cocker
Born (1963-09-19) 19 September 1963 (age 50)
Sheffield, England
Genres Alternative rock, post-punk, Britpop, indie rock, indie pop, art rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, actor, voice actor, radio presenter, music video director
Instruments Vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion
Years active 1978–present
Associated acts Pulp, Relaxed Muscle
Website jarviscocker.net

Jarvis Branson Cocker (born 19 September 1963) is an English musician, singer-songwriter, radio presenter and editor. He is known as frontman for the band Pulp. Through his work with the band, Cocker became a figurehead of the Britpop movement of the mid-1990s.[1] Following Pulp's hiatus, Cocker has led a successful solo career, and presents a BBC Radio 6 Music show called Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service.[2]

Early life[edit]

Cocker was born in Sheffield, growing up in the Intake area of the city. His father, Mac Cocker, a DJ and actor, left the family and moved to Sydney, Australia when Cocker was seven, and had no contact with him or his sister, Saskia, thereafter—both were brought up by their mother, who later became a Conservative councillor.[3]

Cocker credits his upbringing, almost exclusively in female company, for his interest in how women think and what they have to say. He wrote a song ("A Little Soul" on This Is Hardcore) about being abandoned by his father, and in 1998 travelled with his sister to Australia to meet him for the first time in nearly 30 years. Mac Cocker had a successful radio DJ career in Sydney beginning with Double J in the 1970s and then Triple J in the 1980s,[4] and did not counter a common impression there that he was Joe Cocker's brother or cousin (despite both being from Sheffield, they are not related). By the time of his son's visit, Mac Cocker had moved to a hippie commune in Darwin, Northern Territory. Cocker says he has forgiven his father for abandoning them: "I don't feel any bitterness towards him at all. I feel sorry for him."[3][5]

Career[edit]

Pulp[edit]

Main article: Pulp (band)
Cocker performing with Pulp, 2012

Cocker founded "Arabacus Pulp" (named after a tradeable commodity he saw in an economics class) at the age of 15 while he was still at The City School. After numerous line-up changes, and a shortening of the name to "Pulp", they eventually found fame in the 1990s with the success of the albums His 'n' Hers (1994) and Different Class (1995). As Pulp's front-man, part of his trademark image was his glasses, which seemed to "stay magically on his face" no matter his antics on stage, apparently this was achieved with "a huge rubber band round the back".[6]

Pulp released two more albums (This Is Hardcore and We Love Life) to critical acclaim, though neither achieved the commercial success of Different Class. After releasing a greatest hits album, the band was on hiatus from 2003 to 2010, but returned to activity in 2011.[citation needed]

Cocker is also renowned for his wit and observations of the cultural scene. He was a frequent guest on TV shows in the 1990s, as well as hosting an arts series for the Channel 4 – "Journeys into the Outside". Here he took a trip across the globe, meeting so-called "outsider artists", people who create wacky and wonderful works of art, and trying to understand what compels them to do so. Cocker's penchant for TV appearances was reflected in a parody of "Common People" ("Showbiz People") which was featured on the satirical comedy show Spitting Image in 1996.[citation needed]

BRIT Awards incident[edit]

Cocker invaded the stage at the 1996 BRIT Awards in a spur of the moment protest against Michael Jackson's performance. Jackson was performing his hit "Earth Song" while surrounded by children and a rabbi. Cocker and his friend Peter Mansell (a former Pulp member) performed an impromptu stage invasion in protest.[citation needed]

Cocker was detained and interviewed by the police on suspicion of assault. He was accompanied by comedian Bob Mortimer, a former solicitor, who represented him in that capacity.[7] He was subsequently released without charge. Opinions from the press on Cocker's actions were mixed. 2 March 1996 edition of Melody Maker, for example, suggested Cocker should be knighted, and Noel Gallagher of Oasis said that "Jarvis Cocker is a star" and should be awarded an MBE. Regarding his actions, Cocker said, "My actions were a form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure with the power of healing. I just ran on the stage. I didn't make any contact with anyone as far as I recall."[8]

On 2 July 2009 he appeared as a panelist on BBC TV's Question Time. He said that Jackson's recent death had been over-hyped by the media. When asked what he objected to about Michael Jackson at the time of the BRIT Award incident, he reiterated his earlier comments about Jackson and Christ (whilst admitting he himself wasn't religious). When asked, "Otherwise as a performer you thought he was a genius?" Cocker replied, "He invented the moonwalk."[9]

Solo career[edit]

Jarvis: 2006–2008[edit]

Cocker's debut album, Jarvis, was released in the UK on 13 November 2006.[10] At the 2006 Reading festival, the video for "Running the World" was played on the main video screens of the main stage throughout the day, notably before the headline act, Muse, performed. This video contained a karaoke-like presentation of the song's lyrics to encourage the crowd to sing along.[citation needed]

In March 2008, Cocker made a small tour of Latin America (México, Argentina and Chile), where he presented a new song called "Girls Like It Too".[citation needed]

"Further Complications.": 2008–present[edit]

Speaking to NME.com, Cocker said that he had written "Girls Like It Too" and "The Usual", and hoped to have enough material to record the follow-up to his solo debut album.[11] He said of the forthcoming studio album: "I've got vague ideas. I'd like to do another album before the end of the year."[citation needed]

Cocker debuted a new song, "Angela", on BBC2's "The Summer Exhibition: A Culture Show Special", on 13 June 2008 that remains available for viewing on the BBC website.[12] On 6 March 2009, Pitchfork revealed the cover art and album title for Further Complications, which was recorded by Steve Albini and released on 18 May 2009.[13] Drowned in Sound stated that the album was "a huge leap forward" for Cocker.[14]

In October 2011, Faber and Faber published a collection of his lyrics entitled Mother, Brother, Lover: Selected Lyrics.[15]

Side projects[edit]

Musical[edit]

Cocker sang a duet, "Ciao!", with Miki Berenyi on British shoegazing band Lush's 1996 album Lovelife. In 1997, he collaborated with David Arnold on a cover of All Time High by Rita Coolidge, the theme from Octopussy. Furthermore, he gained co-writing credits for several songs ("Walk Like A Panther", "1st Man in Space", "Drive Safely Darlin'", "Stars on Sunday", and "Happy Birthday Nicola") on The All Seeing I's album Pickled Eggs & Sherbet, released in 1999. He contributed lead vocals to "Drive Safely Darlin'". He also performed live with The All Seeing I on Top of the Pops, singing "Walk Like A Panther" in place of Tony Christie, who sang on the recorded version.[citation needed]

In 2001 he contributed "Everybody Loves The Underdog" to the soundtrack for Mike Bassett: England Manager. He re-emerged in 2003 to promote a new album, under the pseudonym "Darren Spooner", for his new band Relaxed Muscle. The same year, he appeared on the Richard X album Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1. In 2004, Cocker collaborated with Nancy Sinatra on her new album, as well as with Marianne Faithfull on her album Kissin Time, with the song "Sliding through Life on Charm."[citation needed]

In 2005 Cocker co-wrote three tracks ("La Degustation", "Basque Country" and "Fred de Fred") on Sheffield-based electronica duo The Lovers' self-titled debut album. That same year he also covered "I Can't Forget" by Leonard Cohen as part of the tribute show for the film Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man.[citation needed]

Cocker also contributed to the soundtrack for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, writing and performing three tracks: "This Is the Night", "Do the Hippogriff" and "Magic Works". He appeared briefly in the film as lead singer of the band The Weird Sisters. The fictitious group also featured Jonny Greenwood and Phil Selway from Radiohead, Steve Mackey from Pulp, Jason Buckle from Relaxed Muscle and Steve Claydon from Add N to.[16]

In 2006 Cocker appeared on albums Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited (song "I Just Came to Tell You That I'm Going", co-performed with Kid Loco) and Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys (song "A Drop of Nelson's Blood"). His song "Running the World" appeared over the closing credits of the film Children of Men. Also in 2006, along with Steve Mackey, he 'curated' the two-CD compilation, The Trip, which featured a wide selection of tracks by artists as varied as The Fall, Gene Pitney, The Beach Boys, and The Polecats. He also co-wrote lyrics on the Charlotte Gainsbourg album 5:55, with Neil Hannon and members of Air. Cocker and Beth Ditto (The Gossip) recently collaborated on a cover version of Heaven 17's "Temptation" at the NME Awards in London. In 2007, Cocker contributed to two songs on French electronica group Air's album "Pocket Symphony" – performing on "One Hell of a Party" and (with Charlotte Gainsbourg) "The Duelist".[citation needed]

In March 2007, Cocker appeared on French band Air's album Pocket Symphony.[citation needed] He curated the 2007 Meltdown Festival at the South Bank Centre in London, UK. The line-up he chose included Motörhead, Roky Erickson and the Explosives with Clinic, Devo with Drumsize, Iggy & The Stooges, Cornershop, and The Jesus and Mary Chain.[17]

In 2008 Cocker contributed Born to Cry, (originally a Pulp song released on the Notting Hill soundtrack CD – though not featured in the film and co-written by Richard Hawley) to Tony Christie's album of songs by Sheffield based songwriters, Made in Sheffield. Around 2008, Cocker also participated in a project that tackled the question, "What is Music?", designed to enter into the debate over the future of the music industry. Cocker asked: "Does this mean that music can now go back to being an art form again? Also, what happens if you get a band to rehearse in an art gallery instead of a rehearsal space?"[18] Consequently, Cocker and his band installed themselves in an art gallery in Paris, France for five days. Each day, Cocker and his musicians performed a variety of different tasks. These included sound-tracking a relaxation class, inviting local musicians to join them in a jam and arranging activities with local school-children. Films of the exhibition remain accessible online in 2014.[19]

In 2010, he worked with the National Trust to produce an album of sounds recorded at 11 of Britain's historically significant sites.[20][21] In 2010 he also narrated Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf at the Royal Festival Hall.[22]

Cocker sang vocals on the single "Synchronize" by Discodeine, a French production duo. The song appeared on the duo's first studio album, released through the on Dirty and Pschent labels on 14 February 2011.[23][24]

Music videos[edit]

Cocker has also directed music videos for amongst other Warp Records, most notably On by Aphex Twin, Sudden Rush by Erlend Øye and Aftermath by Nightmares on Wax. (All three were co-directed with Martin Wallace). He also made brief appearances in the music videos for "A Little More for Little You" by Swedish rockers The Hives and "Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

He also is to be seen as Myron Wagtail, lead singer of the Weird Sisters in a ball scene in the movie "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". The original scene was cut short, but most of the Blu-ray and DVD releases hold the original scene in full-length with the whole 3:30-minute song in bonus parts.

Journeys into The Outside with Jarvis Cocker[edit]

Journeys into the Outside with Jarvis Cocker, a three-episode series, was broadcast in 1999 on Channel 4 and featured Cocker travelling the world to look at various forms of Outsider Art:

The series was directed by longtime collaborator Martin Wallace.[25]

Broadcasting[edit]

On 3 October 1996, Cocker co-hosted the Australian Saturday morning program Recovery with regular co host (and radio personality) Jane Gazzo.[26]

On 12 October 2006, a fictional version of Cocker was a lead character in a drama on BBC Radio 2, as part of their 'Imagine' competition. On 31 December 2008, Cocker guest edited the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.[27] He also guested as a panellist on BBC's Question Time in July 2009.[28]

In October 2009, BBC Radio 6 Music announced Cocker was set to take over the Sunday afternoon slot from 10 January 2010 onwards, with Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service. He was quoted as saying "Sunday doesn't feel that different to the other days of the week any more. Although there was something weird about when everything seemed to stop on a Sunday, it kind of marked out the week. I am going to put the boringness back into Sunday. That's my mission."[29]

Cocker won the Sony DAB Rising Star Award 2010, voted for by listeners, for his BBC Radio 6 Music Show.[30]

In January 2011 he appeared with fellow musician Richard Hawley and DJ Marc Riley on a Radio 4 programme, entitled "In Search of the Holy Whale", whereby the trio embarked on a whale-watching expedition in the sea off Cork, Ireland.[6]

Cocker arranged for Iggy Pop to host the show in 2014,[31] while he undertakes a hiatus that will involve Editor-at-Large duties for publisher Faber and Faber. Cocker explained in December 2013:

Crop Rotation has long been recognized as a way of preserving the fertility of the soil. Every now and again a field has to be left fallow for a year in order to make sure it has time to recover. In 2014 I will be that field. T'is done with the firm conviction that it will lead to a stronger and more vigorous Sunday Service when I return to 6 Music's pastures.[32]

Acting[edit]

American director Wes Anderson is an admirer of Cocker's work.[33] This led to Anderson giving Cocker a role in the stop-animation movie Fantastic Mr. Fox as the voice of Petey, who also sings an original song.[34] In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire he plays Myron Wagtail, lead singer of the Weird Sisters. He also played himself in the 2007 romantic comedy, The Good Night.

Journalism[edit]

In June 2011, Cocker was chosen as poetry guest editor for The Mays Anthology, a collection of new writing from students at the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge.[35]

In 2014, he is the Editor-at-Large for Faber and Faber, and Singing from the Floor by JP Bean is his first acquisition. Cocker explained to NME: "Singing from the Floor portrays an important movement in vernacular culture in the voices of the people who made it happen – and that's not an easy task ... JP Bean has captured this moment before it is lost forever, and has made it live again on the page. He's a very clever chap. Let's raise a glass to him."[32] Cocker says he writes about 'the little things that stick in your mind' because most of them are 'eternal'.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Soon after signing to Fire, in November 1985, Cocker fell out of a window while trying to impress a girl with a Spider-Man impression and ended up in hospital, temporarily requiring the use of a wheelchair, in which he appeared during concerts.[37]

In 1988, at age 25, Cocker took a sabbatical from Pulp to study Fine Art and Film at Central St Martins, from which he graduated in 1991.[38]

In the late 1990s Cocker dated Chloë Sevigny. She later said in a 2009 interview, "When I was in my early 20s, I went out with a British pop star, Jarvis Cocker; of course,pop stars have much more celebrity, I think, than actors even. They’re really hunted by their fans much more. I remember driving around these remote towns in Wales and kids running after us in the street. I was like, 'This is horrible!' And I saw the effect it had on him, and that’s when I decided I never wanted to be a celebrity at that level, and I think that’s why I’ve chosen to do the work that I do and just kind of work with directors that I love and try and do work that means something to me."[39]

Cocker lived in Paris from 2003 with his wife, Camille Bidault-Waddington, and their son Albert (born 24 March 2003), known in the family as Alf.[38] In April 2009 he announced that they were divorcing "on amicable terms", but that he was staying in Paris to remain in his son's life.[40] Cocker had previously lived in Paris in the early 1990s, writing lyrics for Pulp's breakthrough album His 'n' Hers there, but he never learned to speak French, according to Bidault-Waddington.[41]

In 2010, Cocker was named Cultural Ambassador for Eurostar.[42]

He is also an ambassador for the Edinburgh based charity Scottish Love in Action (SLA) since 2010. He has also played on the band Everything Is New, debut CD. The CD was made to raise money for SLA.

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ COMMON PEOPLE – THE STORY OF PULP. BBC 
  2. ^ "Jarvis's Sunday Service". BBC. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Jarvis Cocker: Lone star – Profiles, People". The Independent (UK). 23 December 2006. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  4. ^ Levin, Darren (9 April 2014). "12 things you should know about Double J". Faster Louder. Faster Louder Pty Ltd. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "PULP - ACRYLIC AFTERNOONS - Jarvis Cocker Interview". Acrylic Afternoons. 16 March 2002. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "In Search of the Holy Whale". BBC Radio 4FM. 22 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Could Jarvis Cocker flashing hit Brit Awards again?". Metro.co.uk. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Jarvis' stage invasion at the 1996 Brits". Mlp.cz. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  9. ^ "Jarvis Cocker reaction to Michael Jackson death (Question Time)". youtube. Retrieved 16 September 2009. 
  10. ^ "Jarvis". Jarvis Cocker. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "The Culture Show – Jarvis Cocker". BBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "News". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  14. ^ Ferguson, Robert (9 June 2009). "Drowned in Sound". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  15. ^ Haslam, Dave (16 October 2011). "Interviews". davehaslam.com. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "Canadian Group Sues Radiohead, Warner Bros. Over Use Of Name In ‘Harry Potter’ Flick". MTV. 4 October 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Higgins, Charlotte (2 March 2007). "Cocker promises high and low culture as Meltdown curator". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  18. ^ "Jarvis Cocker.net". Jarvis Cocker.net. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "Ustream.Tv". Ustream.Tv. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  20. ^ LFH (17 November 2005). "Events | Sounds". National Trust. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  21. ^ Brown, Jonathan (13 May 2010). "Jarvis Cocker curates National Trust album". The Independent (London). 
  22. ^ Pidd, Helen (30 December 2010). "From Pulp to Prokofiev: Jarvis Cocker narrates Peter and the Wolf". The Guardian (London). 
  23. ^ "Discodeine feat. Jarvis Cocker - Synchronize" (Video upload). Pschent on Vimeo. Vimeo LLC. 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Discodeine". Discodeine on Resident Advisor. Resident Advisor Ltd. 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  25. ^ "BFI Film & TV Database – Journeys into The Outside with Jarvis Cocker". BFI. 
  26. ^ "Pulp – Acrylic Afternoons – Pulp on Tv". Acrylic Afternoons. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  27. ^ "BBC – Today". BBC News. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  28. ^ "BBC.co.uk". BBC News. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  29. ^ Barnes, Ruth (22 October 2009). "Cocker for 6: Jarvis Cocker to present Sunday afternoon show from January". BBC 6 Music. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  30. ^ "Winners announced for the 28th Sony Radio Academy Awards". Sony Radio Academy Awards. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Jarvis Cocker 'excited' to have Iggy Pop taking over his radio show". NME. IPC Media Entertainment Network. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  32. ^ a b "Jarvis Cocker to take year out from BBC 6 Music radio show". NME. IPC Media Entertainment Network. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  33. ^ "Home – This Recording". Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  34. ^ "Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  35. ^ "The Mays XIX — POETRY. Jarvis Cocker is a musician, actor, radio". Themaysxix.tumblr.com. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  36. ^ "Interview: Jarvis Cocker | Interviews | The Cambridge Student". Tcs.cam.ac.uk. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  37. ^ Sturdy, p.124
  38. ^ a b Barber, Lynn (10 June 2007). "Paris match | Pop | guardian.co.uk Music". The Observer (London). Retrieved 29 June 2009. 
  39. ^ [2][dead link]
  40. ^ "Jarvis' marriage Pulped". The Sun (UK). 26 April 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  41. ^ Bateman, Nadine (27 June 2010). "My life: Camille Bidault-Waddington". SCMP (Hong Kong). Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  42. ^ "Jarvis Cocker named Eurostar's cultural ambassador". Kent News. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 

External links[edit]