Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker discusses John Peel’s influence on him in Stowmarket

Jarvis Cocker (right), talks to Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy as part of Classic Album Sundays with Audio N

Jarvis Cocker (right), talks to Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy as part of Classic Album Sundays with Audio Note UK - Credit: Archant

Britpop icon and radio presenter Jarvis Cocker said listening to the John Peel show was his “musical education” in an intimate interview hosted in Suffolk.

There was standing room only at the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, in Stowmarket, as the Pulp frontman discussed the band’s 1995 album Different Class with Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy, as part of the Classic Album Sundays series, with Audio Note UK.

During Saturday’s interview, Cocker spoke of his first experiences of the John Peel radio show, saying he originally found the show by messing around with the radio dial, and hearing a song he liked the sound of.

He added: “I listened to the end of the song and heard a low voice. I was hooked. It was my musical education.

“The show wasn’t tied down to one genre – it was an invaluable thing to me. My most profound musical influence was listening to the John Peel show.”


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Radio 1 DJ Peel, who died in 2004, lived near Stowmarket and the arts centre project – which is housed in the former Stowmarket Corn Hall – stemmed from a community safety initiative in 2009.

Cocker also said Peel was instrumental in his decision not to go to university, following Pulp’s first Peel session in 1981.

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Cocker also discussed working on the album, as well as the musical influences.

As part of the session, legendary DJ John Peel’s own vinyl copy of the album – including the hits Common People and Disco 2000 – was played in its entirety, uninterrupted.

Following the listen, the first time the BBC Radio 6 Music presenter had listened back to the album since working on it, said: “I realised I have been singing the words incorrectly. It’s a bit late for that really. Although I felt a bit on edge it was probably the nearest to how it was when we recorded it.”

Ms Murphy, who interviewed Cocker, said: “A lot of people wouldn’t have record contracts without him (John Peel).

“There’s a lot of people who grew up listening to him. Even being in America, I know how significant it was.

“For an artist of Jarvis’ calibre to lend his time to do that is really remarkable.

“A lot of it is to do with John Peel and his influence on his life.”

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