'Blackpool made me the musician I am'
A Blackpool deckchair attendant-turned-songwriter has released an album dedicated to growing up in the resort.
Jack Cooper’s album Sandgrown is a kind of love letter to his hometown, having lived in Poulton, Layton and Grange Park as a child.
The 37-year-old has worked with various bands, including Beep Seals and Mazes, and currently plays in Ultimate Painting. But this is his first solo release.
“I always felt when I was a kid that Blackpool encouraged the showbiz side of me,” the former Arnold School pupil said. “I started going out at about 15 or 16, and I would run into people like Frank Carson or Russ Abbot, nothing was as respected as someone in showbusiness.
“Even if I was doing weird music - that was respected.
“I spent five or six years working on the deckchairs and that’s where I figured myself out a bit,” Jack added. “Since then, I’ve been in bands, but writing about Blackpool and my teenage years I always wanted to do something on my own, with that framework of growing up in Blackpool and the Fylde.
“It allowed me to be nostalgic. If I brought songs about Blackpool to the band, they would say ‘That’s weird’, but by myself, it’s a case of anything goes.”
Although he moved away to Manchester and eventually London, Jack’s still proud of his background, and hopes the album will show people there’s more to Blackpool than the statistics.
“I’m trying to get across that Blackpool has been portrayed in a generally negative light in the last 10 or 15 years,” he explained. “I think because of the statistics everyone rolls out about it being a place with problems, it’s like a microcosm of how things have taken a turn for the worse everywhere in the North of England.
“I wanted to shine a light in the fact this place is an incredibly diverse and beautiful part of the country.”
Jack had hoped to book a date to bring his live show to Blackpool but was unable to secure a venue. His nearest date will be at The Eagle Inn, Salford, on Friday, September 16. He’s also doing a BBC 6 Music session on Monday.