Jeff Cooper

2XS Rocks! A Brief History

Hello, my name is Jeff Cooper.

In 2002, UK radio had virtually abandoned all non-chart and unsigned music and few stations were committing any significant hours to such programming, so I launched 2XS Rocks! (it was ‘radio2XS’ back then). We were the only on-line station to record our own full live sessions (‘The Barn Sessions’) and to promise that, if we like what you do, you don't get confined to a niche show - you get aired throughout our programming - right alongside the big names.

I had previously been involved in promoting New Music and non-mainstream albums for many years on several UK radio stations and I may well be the longest-running continuous broadcaster of New Music in the country. I was part of the original line-up when Manchester's Piccadilly Radio launched in 1974 and presented an album-rock show called ‘Rokzac’. Later, when Radio Trent went on the air in Nottingham in 1975, the station committed itself to a nightly free-form programme of New Music and album tracks. In those 'pre-genre' days, I played every style of music from rock to jazz, folk and country, with guests as varied as Ian Gillan, Mike Oldfield and The Chieftains. The original Trent team also included later 2XS contributors Guy Morris, Chris Baird and John Peters.

In 1978, I took over ‘Midnight Rock’ on Glasgow’s Radio Clyde, and became the first commercial radio DJ to broadcast a then unknown Sheffield band called Heaven 17. A similar accolade came a little later when my 'Fast Forward' show on BBC Radio Manchester was the first local radio outlet for New Order. After a two year run as ‘Q-Rock’ on Lancashire’s Rock FM, I renamed the show ‘XS’ when it moved to Sheffield's Hallam FM in 1996, again providing a new band called Travis with their first full live radio session. The show was nominated for a Sony Radio Award, and later became ‘2XS’ when it was broadcast across much of the North of England several different stations.

All of these shows happened only because my enthusiasm was supported by some supportive programmers, and my grateful thanks goes to these folks for their encouragement over the years (in chronological order):

Colin Walters @ Piccadilly Radio;
Bob Snyder @ Radio Trent;
Jimmy Gordon @ Radio Clyde;
John MacCalman@ Radio Clyde;
Tony Inchley @ BBC Radio Manchester;
Roger Wilkes @ Radio City;
Dave Lincoln @ The Superstation;
Mark Matthews @ Rock FM;
Dave Shearer @ Hallam FM;
Guy Morris @ 106.9 Silk FM;
Wayne Chadwick @ Peak 107;
Paul Robey @ Smooth Radio.