I took scenic route says Cocker as he returns book 30 years late

Jarvis Cocker returns a library book to the Sheffield school where he borrowed it 30 years ago
Jarvis Cocker returns a library book to the Sheffield school where he borrowed it 30 years ago
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PULP frontman Jarvis Cocker finally got round to returning a library book to his former school, three decades after he left.

Cocker formed his chart-topping indie group while a pupil at Sheffield’s City School and said he was worried about “getting done” for failing to return the poetry anthology, entitled Nine Modern Poets.

The songwriter grew up in the Intake area of the city, and during his visit an assembly of today’s pupils were treated to an hour-long presentation on his teenage years, including some of his earliest songs.

Long-forgotten efforts Shakespeare Rock and Life Is A Circle were unearthed, alongside a full acoustic version of Pulp’s breakthrough number, Babies.

He said: “It was this school hall that saw the first performance of Pulp in March 1980.

“The tickets costing 20p promised 30 minutes of live Pulp, which was pretty good value.

“It was only when I moved away to London years later that I realised the normal things I’d experienced in Sheffield weren’t actually normal at all – they were interesting and I wanted to write about them because I was scared of forgetting where I’d come from.”

Cocker said he had taken a slow route to success. “I suppose you could call it the J Factor rather than the X Factor.

“The J Factor is rather slow, but it can be nice to take the scenic route then get there in the end.”

Pulp recently re-formed for a series of high-profile concerts after nearly a decade of inaction, culminating in a headline slot at this year’s Leeds Festival.