Over ten years and stone ago, me and my mate Brad ventured over the A53 to Buxton. Our destination was the Opera House where Frank Sidebottom, Charlie Chuck and John Cooper Clarke were in town.
It was a Saturday night, and a few hours earlier, The Potters had kicked sand in Arsenal faces at the Britannia Stadium. It was the afternoon of Van Persie’s red card, Rory’s long throw and Seyi Olofinjana bundling the ball into the net for the winner after virtually falling on the ball. We were in high spirits to say the least, and Tony Pulis quoting Abraham Lincoln after the game was the start of a surreal few hours…….
I’d obviously heard of John Cooper Clarke, of course I had. Everyone has probably heard the delights of ‘Evidently chicken town’ at least once in their lives, surely? But Brad was a big fan of his and assured me he’d be brilliant and I’d love him. I did.
‘Punk poet’ and ‘People’s poet’ are just two of the tags that have been used to describe John Cooper Clarke. ‘A really clever and dead sharp and funny bloke’ I don’t think has ever stuck – but that’s exactly what he is. And now, he’s appearing in our fair city, next Thursday night, at the Victoria Hall, as part of a 42 date tour. He’ll be ace, and if you have nothing on, then I’d be heading over to somewhere like The Coachmakers or Bottlecraft for a couple of lovely ales before wandering over to see just why John Cooper Clarke enlivened my night in Buxton all those years ago.
With new stuff from his first collection in 30 years – The Luckiest Guy Alive’ – intermingled in with the classics, you’ll find a man with an earthiness to him that you can’t help but like. And he’s performing in a simply great venue, too. His work focuses on the ‘normal’ and the ‘everyday’ – but is dark and dry, and anything but.
“We never get much in Stoke, do we?” That’s been changing in recent times. Here’s another example.
John Cooper Clarke Thursday 23rd May Victoria Hall, Hanley
Tickets from https://www.atgtickets.com/times/dr-john-cooper-clarke/victoria-hall/2019-05-23 or call 020 7206 1179