2XS Rocks @

The History Of 2XS Rocks


In 2002, UK radio had virtually abandoned all non-chart and unsigned music, so we 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'm Jeff Cooper, and I have been involved in promoting New Music and non-mainstream albums for decades on many 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', with much Led Zeppelin - and the first play of Mike Oldfield's 'Hergest Ridge'. 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.

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 the North West's Rock FM, the show moved to Sheffield's Hallam FM as 'XS' where, in 1996, we gave a new band called Travis 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 on several different stations.

All of this happened only because my enthusiasm was backed by some supportive programmers.

My grateful thanks go to these folks for their encouragement over the years:

1974: Colin Walters @ Piccadilly Radio
1975: Bob Snyder @ Radio Trent
1978: Jimmy Gordon @ Radio Clyde
1979: John MacCalman @ Radio Clyde
1982: Tony Inchley @ BBC Manchester/WM
1989: Dave Lincoln @ The Superstation
1990: Mark Matthews @ Rock FM
1996: Dave Shearer @ Hallam FM
1999: Guy Morris @ 106.9 Silk FM
2000: Wayne Chadwick @ Peak 107
2005: Paul Robey @ Smooth Radio

And to these for their support for 2XS from 2002

Guy Morris
Mark Meadowcroft
Caroline Woodruff
John Peters
Terry Butterworth
Steve Bone