Jarvis Cocker

Jarvis Cocker

Jarvis Cocker, 2009
Background information
Birth name Jarvis Branson Cocker
Born 19 September 1963 (1963-09-19) (age 48)
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Genres Alternative rock, indie rock, indie pop, art rock, post-punk, britpop
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist, actor
Instruments vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass guitar
Years active 1978–present
Associated acts Pulp
Relaxed Muscle
Website jarviscocker.net

Jarvis Branson Cocker (born 19 September 1963) is an English musician and 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. Jarvis Cocker currently presents his own radio show on BBC Radio 6 Music 'Jarvis's Sunday Service'




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".[2]

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.

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.

BRIT Awards incident

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.

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. He was subsequently released without charge. Opinions from the press on Cocker's actions were mixed. The 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."[3]

On 2 July 2009 he appeared as a panellist 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."[4]

Solo career

Jarvis: 2006–2008

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.

Cocker is now following a solo career – his debut album, Jarvis, came out in the UK on 13 November 2006. In March 2007, he appeared on French band Air's album Pocket Symphony.

On 14 February 2007, he was chosen to give the award for Best British Newcomer (awarded to the Fratellis) at the Brit Awards.

He curated the 2007 Meltdown Festival at the South Bank Centre in London. The acts he chose include Motörhead, Roky Erickson and the Explosives with Clinic, Devo with Drumsize, Iggy & The Stooges, Cornershop and The Jesus and Mary Chain.[5]

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".

Further Complications: 2008–present

Jarvis Cocker planned to release a new studio album, and revealed the names of two tracks set for the record. Speaking to NME.com, he 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 soon.[6] "I've got vague ideas," he said of the forthcoming LP. "I'd like to do another album before the end of the year."

Cocker debuted a new song, "Angela", on BBC2's "The Summer Exhibition: A Culture Show Special", on 13 June 2008. the video is available inside the UK.[7]

On 6 March Pitchfork Media revealed the cover art and album title for Further Complications, due out 18 May 2009.[8] It was recorded by Steve Albini.

Around the record's release, Cocker participated in a project proposing to tackle the question, "What is Music?" It was designed to enter into the debate over the future of the music industry. "Does this mean," asked the singer, "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?"[9] Consequently, Cocker and his band installed themselves in an art gallery in Paris for five days. Each day, Cocker and his musicians performed a variety of different tasks. These included soundtracking a relaxation class, inviting local musicians to join them in a jam, and arranging activities with local school-children. The events were organised around Jarvis's public rehearsals for his forthcoming live dates. Films of the exhibition can still be found online.[10]

In Further Complications, Cocker embraced an altogether more muscular sound, while retaining his trademark witticisms (on 'Leftovers', he sings "I met her in the Museum of Palaeontology / "And I make no bones about it"). Reviews generally praised both the themes and sound of the record, with Drowned in Sound in particular writing that Further Complications was "a huge leap forward" for Cocker.[11]

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.[12]

Side projects


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.

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."

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.

Cocker also contributed to the soundtrack for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, writing and performing three Electro 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 (X).

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". 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. In 2010, he worked with the National Trust to produce an album of sounds recorded at 11 of Britain's historically significant sites.[13][14] In 2010 he also narrated Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf at the Royal Festival Hall.[15]

Jarvis sang vocals on the single "Synchronize" by Discodeine.

Music videos

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.

Journeys Into The Outside with Jarvis Cocker

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.

Places visited included:

The series was directed by longtime collaborator Martin Wallace.[16]


Jarvis Cocker currently presents his own radio show on BBC Radio 6 Music 'Jarvis's Sunday Service' 'Jarvis's Sunday Service']

On 3 October 1996, Cocker co-hosted the Australian Saturday morning program Recovery with regular co host (and radio personality) Jane Gazzo.[17]

Cocker won the 2002 celebrity edition of Stars in Their Eyes he appeared on by impersonating Rolf Harris.

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.[18] He also guested as a panellist on BBC's Question Time in July 2009.[19]

In October 2009, BBC Radio 6 Music announced Cocker was set to take over the Sunday afternoon slot, 3.30–5.30 pm, from 10 January 2010 to the current day. He was quoted as saying "Sunday doesn't feel that different to the other days of the week anymore. 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."[20] Cocker won the Sony DAB Rising Star Award 2010, voted for by listeners, for his BBC Radio 6 Music Show.[21]

In January 2011 he appeared with fellow musician Richard Hawley and DJ Mark Riley on BBC Radio 4 programme where they went: 'In Search of the Holy Whale' i.e. whale watching in the sea off cork.[2]


American director Wes Anderson is an admirer of Cocker's work.[22] 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.[23] In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire he plays Myron Wagtail, lead singer of the Weird Sisters.[24] He also played himself in the 2007 romantic comedy The Good Night.

Personal life

Cocker was born in Sheffield, growing up in the Intake area of the city. His father, Mac, a DJ and actor, left the family and moved to Sydney when Jarvis was seven and had no contact with him or his sister Saskia thereafter, leaving them to be brought up by their mother, now a Conservative councillor.[25]

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.[26]

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.[27]

Jarvis 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, 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 in any way). 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."[25][28]

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.[27] 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.[29] 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.[30]

He currently resides in East Sheen, London, but sees his son regularly.[30]

In 2010, Cocker was named Cultural Ambassador for Eurostar.[31]



  • Jarvis (13 November 2006) #37 UK
  • "Further Complications." (18 May 2009) #19 UK, #155 US


  1. ^ COMMON PEOPLE – THE STORY OF PULP, BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/r2music/documentaries/pulp.shtml 
  2. ^ a b "In Search of the Holy Whale". BBC Radio 4FM. 22 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "[SPACE] Jarvis' stage invasion at the 1996 Brits". Mlp.cz. http://www.mlp.cz/space/opatrilp/Pulp/the_Brits_96.html. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  4. ^ "Jarvis Cocker reaction to Michael Jackson death (Question Time)". youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCI6zmVOf14&feature=fvw. Retrieved 16 September 2009. 
  5. ^ Higgins, Charlotte (2 March 2007). "Cocker promises high and low culture as Meltdown curator". The Guardian (UK). http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2024716,00.html. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  6. ^ PitchForkMedia[dead link]
  7. ^ "The Culture Show - Jarvis Cocker". BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/cultureshow/videos/2008/06/s5_s1_jarvis. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "News". Pitchfork. http://pitchfork.com/news/34783-jarvis-cocker-returns-with-steve-albini-produced-lp. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  9. ^ "Jarvis Cocker.net". Jarvis Cocker.net. http://jarviscocker.net/news/jarvis-cocker-is-making-an-exhibition-of-himself. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "Ustream.Tv". Ustream.Tv. 5 May 2009. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/1468368. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  11. ^ Ferguson, Robert (9 June 2009). "Drowned in Sound". Drowned in Sound. http://drownedinsound.com/releases/14449/reviews/4137060. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "Mays XIX". http://themaysxix.tumblr.com/post/5744413958/poetry-jarvis-cocker-is-a-musician-actor-radio. 
  13. ^ LFH (17 November 2005). "Events | Sounds". National Trust. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-events-sounds/. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  14. ^ Jonathan Brown (13 May 2010). "Jarvis Cocker curates National Trust album". The Independent (London). http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/jarvis-cocker-curates-national-trust-album-1972193.html. 
  15. ^ Helen Pidd (30 December 2010). "From Pulp to Prokofiev: Jarvis Cocker narrates Peter and the Wolf". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/dec/29/jarvis-cocker-narrates-peter-and-the-wolf. 
  16. ^ "BFI Film & TV Database – Journeys Into The Outside with Jarvis Cocker". BFI. http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/series/30981. 
  17. ^ "Pulp – Acrylic Afternoons – Pulp On Tv". Acrylic Afternoons. http://www.acrylicafternoons.com/tv.html. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  18. ^ "BBC – Today". BBC News. 31 December 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7785000/7785764.stm. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  19. ^ "BBC.co.uk". BBC News. 30 June 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/question_time/8124347.stm. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  20. ^ Barnes, Ruth (22 October 2009). "Cocker for 6: Jarvis Cocker to present Sunday afternoon show from January". BBC 6 Music. http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/news/20091022_jarvis_cocker.shtml. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "Winners announced for the 28th Sony Radio Academy Awards". Sony Radio Academy Awards. 10 May 2010. http://www.radioawards.org/blog/category/2010-awards/. Retrieved 30 May 2010. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Home – This Recording". http://thisrecording.com/today/tag/wes-anderson. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  23. ^ "IMDB – Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0432283/. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  24. ^ Template:Credits:Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Warner Brothers
  25. ^ a b "Jarvis Cocker: Lone star – Profiles, People". The Independent (UK). 23 December 2006. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/jarvis-cocker-lone-star-429504.html. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  26. ^ Sturdy, p.124
  27. ^ a b Barber, Lynn (10 June 2007). "Paris match | Pop | guardian.co.uk Music". London: Observer.guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2007/jun/10/popandrock.meltdownfestival2007. Retrieved 29 June 2009. 
  28. ^ "Jarvis Gets Real." Interview with Jarvis Cocker by Giny Dougary. The Times Magazine, London, 16 March 2002.
  29. ^ "Jarvis' marriage Pulped". The Sun (UK). 26 April 2009. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article2396892.ece. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  30. ^ a b Bateman, Nadine (27 June 2010). "My life: Camille Bidault-Waddington". SCMP (Hong Kong). http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.1d923702d0f3d4b2b5326b10cba0a0a0/?vgnextoid=11abd45526869210VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=mag&issue=20100627&ss=Post+Magazine&s=Magazines. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  31. ^ "Jarvis Cocker named Eurostar's cultural ambassador". kentnews.co.uk. http://www.kentnews.co.uk/kent-news/Jarvis-Cocker-named-Eurostar_s-cultural-ambassador-newsinkent35391.aspx?news=local. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jarvis Cocker — beim Rock en Seine 2007 J …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jarvis Cocker — Jarvis Cockend Jarvis Cocker en concierto, 2006. Datos generales Nombre real Jarvis Branson Cocker …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jarvis Cocker — Nom Jarvis Cocker Naissance 19 septembre 1963 Sheffield …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jarvis Branson Cocker — Jarvis Cocker beim Rock en Seine 2007 Jarvis Cocker bei einem Konzert 2006 Jarvis Branson Cocker (* 19. September 1963 in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jarvis (album) — Jarvis Studio album by Jarvis Cocker Released November 14, 2006 (UK) April 3, 2007 (US) …   Wikipedia

  • Jarvis (album) — Jarvis Album par Jarvis Cocker Sortie 14 novembre 2006 Enregistrement 2006 Genre Pop Rock Label Rough Trade …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jarvis — is a surname and, less frequently, a male given name.It can refer to:People*Jarvis, debut solo album by Jarvis Cocker * Jarvis, an R b singer * Adrian Jarvis, rugby fly half * Anna Jarvis, founder of the Mother s Day holiday in the US * Doug… …   Wikipedia

  • Jarvis — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis (1832–1905), Mutter von Anna Marie Jarvis, genannt „Mutter des Muttertages“ Anna Marie Jarvis (1864–1948), Begründerin des Muttertages Clifford Jarvis (1941−1999), US amerikanischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cocker — may mean: Cocker Spaniel, a dog River Cocker, Cumbria, a river in the English county of Cumbria River Cocker (Lancashire), a river in the English county of Lancashire Edward Cocker (1631 1676), English engraver, who also taught writing and… …   Wikipedia

  • Cocker — ist der Cocker (Derwent), Nebenfluss des River Derwent (Cumbria) im englischen Lake District die Kurzbezeichnung für die Hunderasse English Cocker Spaniel Cocker ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Edward Cocker (1631–1672), englischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.