John Cooper Clarke Sage Gateshead 30 April 2022

COOPER TIXWent to see an old friend the other night. John Cooper Clarke. He of punkish poetry and 1970s Manchester fame. Laura and Dale came too. Have had the pleasure of his company many times. Since the late 1970s. Cool he was then. And now. The MC for the evening was a Cockney guy. He was clearly of the punk ilk; very coolish too. The support act was another poet. Mike Garry. From the Manchester area. Long hairish, also quite punkish. Recited from his book. Does readings in schools, prisons, with communities and internationally. Clever use of voice and rhythm. Cool guy. Strange to see the Sage stage with only a mic stand in the centre. No gear. Very minimalist. Soon a short interval came upon us. Time for a pint of Newcastle Brown. Brown dog.

COOPER 2“John Cooper Clarke, also known as the Bard of Salford, is a phenomenon: Poet Laureate of Punk, rock star, fashion icon, TV and radio presenter, social and cultural commentator – he’s one of Britain’s most beloved and influential writers and performers.” (From the man’s website).

Then our man cometh. Joined the pleasantly full hall. Full of devotees. And cool he was. As ever. Cool hair. Cool cap. Cool black jeans. Cool jacket. Matched cap. Coolest of all: winklepicker, Cuban heel, Chelsea boots. Like mine. Mine don’t fit me anymore. Sad. Lots of poetry filled the hall. Very funny. Quick pace. Fast rhythm. Almost rap. Manchester twang. Carer Jan laughed a lot. Crowd knew and loved him. Hung on to every word. Very clever words. Read a lot from new book. Finished with some familiar ones: “Beasley Street”; “Evidently Chickentown” (lots of swearing: excellent); “T**t”. Great show Dr John. Thank you for your words. Thank you for your company. Thank you for your wisdom. Through your words we see you and understand you.COOPER CLARKE 1

Thanks to Jan: photographer for the evening. Thanks to Chris: put to bedder for the evening. Poetry rhythm resounding through my head.

Setlist (something along these lines): Hire Car; Get Back On Drugs You Fat F***; The Luckiest Guy Alive; Bedblocker Blues; She’s got a metal plate in her head; Beasley Street; Beasley Boulevard; Pies; I’ve Fallen In Love With My Wife; Evidently Chickentown.

Encore: Tw**; I Wanna Be Yours

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Peter Maggiore on May 2, 2022 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Pete. Another memorable evening. He’s a character alright. It’s nice to see him lined up for The Firestation. Pete


  2. Posted by Iain James Mackay on May 2, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    And don’t forget Oldham…not twinned with any other town but in a suicide pact with Gdansk!


  3. A legend. I had the pleasure of interviewing him on Radio Tees in 1980 and had my 12″ promo of Beasley Street autographed, still in my collection today.


    • Posted by vintagerock on May 2, 2022 at 3:41 pm

      Hi John. Many thanks for sharing that lovely memory. Treasure that signed item! Yes the guy is a legend. Happy days Peter


  4. Posted by Tony Grey on May 2, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    I recently read Dr John’s autobiography, highly recommend it, a great read very funny, especially his early years.


    • Posted by vintagerock on May 3, 2022 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Tony I also have an (autographed) copy of his book. I must get round to reading it! Happy days Peter


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