THESE days, six-times world snooker champion Steve Davis would rather chat about the history of progressive rock than the nuances of the game that made him world famous.

"I saw Soft Machine play at Greenwich in 1974, and I was hooked," said Davis, who will recall his sporting life at a special spoken word event at the Grand in Clitheroe later this month.

"I got heavily into them," he said. "It was the out there music of the time and playing it now, re-visiting the different music eras I missed because I was a professional snooker player, is like opening an Aladdin's cave of sound.

"It is such great fun."

At the height of his career, Davis was on the snooker table for ten hours a day and as the demands of the sport took over his life, music was crowded out.

"It had to be that way, I suppose," he says.

"It was a complete obsession to be the best.

"Then after practise it would be off to Hull, London, Manchester, Glasgow to play. I didn't have time to draw breath.

"I missed out on punk, jazz-funk, electronica, so much great stuff.

"Not many people would come up and say, 'Steve, have you heard the new Sex Pistols single or the latest Stranglers album?

"I never had chance to embrace it, but now I indulge it all: prog, post-punk, soul, funk, strange stuff, weird stuff and quite a bit of mangled electronica."

Roll back the years and Davis - DJ Thundermuscle when he is on the decks - enjoyed a monster hit with Snooker Loopy with East End chums Chas and Dave.

"When Snooker Loopy got to number seven in the charts, that was the end of music and snooker as a credible force," joked Davis.

"I did once walk out to the soundtrack by a Belgium band Art Zoyd, but they refused to play it next time.

"I'd have snooker players come walk out to something from the big Berlin Techno Houses."

Davis is speaking ahead of his weekly show on Essex-based community radio station Phoenix FM, which he has been hosting for 20 years.

"I've always liked the weird end of music, I suppose," added Davis.

"My alter-ego DJ Thundermuscle is tongue in cheek because my image was so boring as a player, with the grey Steve 'Interesting' Davis puppet on Spitting Image, which always made me laugh.

"I love the sound of Magma, for example, an ensemble from France who would sing hour long tracks in a made-up language.

"I get moments of great joy watching and listening to them. It is beautiful.

"If you dig deep, there is so much wonderful music to celebrate."

Davis says performing as a DJ requires no skill compared with being a snooker champion.

"You just turn up with a bunch of CDs and a box of vinyl, put them on, press play and then have a dance.

"As a snooker player you have to practice for eight hours every day, and even then you get no guarantees."

Last year Davis played a two hour DJ set at Glastonbury, and he will be back on the festival circuit this summer.

"I think it is amazing that something else has happened after snooker," he says.

"You could say that nothing's going to replace the excitement of the competitive arena, and that's true because there is nothing like walking out at the Crucible Theatre, but I've been fortunate to replace that with a different kind of excitement."

Steve Davis, My Life, Clitheroe Grand, Tuesday, June 20. Details from 01200 421599 or