Get Cocker!
Photographer: Neil Cooper
Taken from Select Magazine, March 1995

Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex. You'll never hear anybody ask about owt else when speaking to Mr Jarvis Cocker. He'd jovially talk about fishmongery or contact lenses, much rather in fact, but no. EI Jarvo may mean many things to many people, but there's one thing he means to all of us. Doing it.

His songs don't help. They're littered with moistness, they ooze a tactile fervour normally reserved for people at smoke-filled, flock-lined velour conventions. Or people into making bread. The perhaps aptly-named Cocker espies the world as one heaving muscle of erotica. He is the ultimate fetishist. Take for example, the lyrics to one of the best sex songs ever written, 'Sheffield Sex City'. Starting, 'Hackenthorpe, Shalesmoor, Wombwell, Catcliffe, Brincliffe, Attercliffe, Ecclesall... " it might seemingly be a Sheffield Council's The Knowledge test, yet it is spoken in such breathy sex-o-tone ("Woooombwell - grrr!") that it's surprising the names of the places haven't already been changed to protect the citizens from their Beasts Within. And still, it continues. He stops in the middle and recounts the heat of the day, his tormented desire. 'I had to make love to all the cracks in the pavement and the shop doorways and the puddles of rain that reflected your face in my eyes." It's a wonder Ann Summers haven't snapped him up to make videos for housewives. "We were on the bed when you came home / I heard you stop outside the door / I know you won't believe it's true / I only went with her 'cause she looks like you" ('Babies'). Says it all, really doesn't it.

And then there's those clothes. Most people wearing raspberry cords with a tangerine crimplene shirt look awful. Jarvis doesn't. Most people called Jarvis are probably very dreary. Jarvis isn't. Most people who eat about five meals a day are very fat. If Jarvis stood next to an insecure broom-handle it would be enrolling at Weight Watchers the next day. That sort of thin is very sexy indeed.

But, after all this, the crunch is: those hands. Watch Jarvis live or on the telly and you witness a dizzily sensual mime act. Gaze rapt as a finely-sharpened elbow lifts and stops, a forearm unfurls to reveal a hand with perhaps the longest fingers in history. That hand will gracefully come to rest at an invisible ledge, glide over across his nose and -with belt-loosening coquettery - the digits of said hand will ripple as if touched by the breath of summer. Then everyone faints - not only the laydees.

"I don't consider myself a sex symbol," Cocker has said many many times. Yet he has never added, "And I'm right astonished that anybody does, quite frankly." He knows alright.

Do you consider yourself fanciable then, Jarvis?

"To be honest, the only parts of my body that I'm really happy with are my hands. That's why I move them about so much."

List five people of whom you would wish to have carnal knowledge.

[Pictured - clockwise from top left...] "Charlotte Gainsbourg, the tall one in The Three Degrees, the mother in 2point4 Children, Isla Blair - when she was in The History Man and Jane Horrocks (though the New Order video was a career mistake)."

Who would you not touch with the proverbial sterilised bargepole?

"Virginia Bottomley, unless I was in a particularly perverse mood. The one with the goggle eyes in Coronation Street, (Gail? Alma? Deirdre? who knows?), Sinitta, and Donna Hartley, the female body-builder."

If one of Select's readers wanted to have their way with you, how would they be most likely to succeed?

"Buy me double whiskey and show me their pants - I like big pants, not the skimpy high-cut things."

Are you any good in the sack? Give yourself a mark out of ten. And don't be coy.

"It's the talking part that's important, not the result. I've had both transcendental and tragic experiences. It all depends on the mood. I prefer snogging and petting to full sex anyway - it leaves more to the imagination."

Which four adjectives best describe your, ah, performance?

"Courteous, hygienic, immature, smart."

What's your chat-up line?

"Do you know why I walk with a limp?"

Press Menu    Home