Coined Steve ‘Interesting’ Davis by 80s satirical comedy Spitting Image, the six-times world snooker champ may just live up to that by talking Twitter, prog rock, pop stardom, and being Jarvis Cocker’s radio show stand-in!
What’s your iPod?
I started with the 10GB. Now I’ve got a Classic.
What other technology can’t you live without?
A first-gen iPhone, but it has no music on it. It’s superseded my laptop for getting online, anytime.
How do you spend your time online?
Twitter, but mostly I’m playing poker, or searching for music.
When did you start playing snooker?
In the 70s, most snooker tables were in working men’s clubs. My dad was a member of one in Plumstead and he’d drag me along. Then we discovered I had some talent. I was about 14. Soon I was playing competitively – it chose me.
And then snooker become huge!
Everything took off for me after it became big on television. In 1978 the BBC showed the World Snooker Championship for the first time over its entire two- week period. Before that it had just been Pot Black.
You played so many great opponents, who’s been your favourite?
There was obviously a perceived rivalry with Alex Higgins, and he could create some argy bargy. The enemy wasn’t the other player – it was the table and the balls [laughs].
Fill us in on your love of music.
My school years were devoted to progressive bands like Caravan, Soft Machine and Hatfield And The North. I found these artists through people like John Peel, Alan Freeman and the Old Grey Whistle Test.
How did you switch to becoming a jazz, funk and soul collector?
It was listening to Robbie Vincent on Radio 1 in the 80s, and the enormous pirate radio station movement playing great soul music.
So now you can put all that knowledge to use as radio DJ?
I started on community station Phoenix FM, in Brentford and Billericay, with a soul show, which has now become based loosely around prog rock.
You’ve been picked as a replacement for Jarvis Cocker on BBC 6Music when he goes on tour with Pulp this July. How’s that feel? It’s great to be asked. 6Music let you play what you like. Does it beat reaching the Top Ten with Chas & Dave and Snooker Loopy?
Obviously I am a popstar, too [laughs]. That time was delightful but bizarre. It shows you how big snooker was and how clever Chas & Dave were at capturing a moment. If it hadn’t been for Spitting Image’s The Chicken Song we might have been Number One.
Steve's 10 most-played tracks
1. In A Glass House - Gentle Giant My first prog album by a really underrated band.
2. In The Land Of Grey And Pink - Caravan They seem genteel, but their lyrics are sharp with biting humour.
3. Sex - The Necks Aussie experimentalism in a one-track, 60-minute opus.
4. Mekani?k Destrukti?w Kommando?h - Magma A 70s phenomenon who changed my life when I saw them live at The Roundhouse in ‘74.
5. Hunger - Frankie & The Heartstrings Brand new, and British!
6. Volume Two - Soft Machine Along with Henry Cow, a hugely influential Canterbury scene band from school days.
7. The Diving Bell - Sanguine Hum New, intelligent progressive music from Oxford.
8. Diagonal - Diagonal Great Brighton-based jazz- proggers with a 70s spirit.
9. Rock Bottom – Robert Wyatt Incredible record, one to listen to when you’re smashed out of your face!
10. Shiney Beast (Bat Chain Puller) - Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Warped blues from a true maverick