Legendary punk poet John Cooper Clarke performing here next April.
It’s not often that Witchdoctor expresses interest in someone who neither sings nor plays a musical instrument, but John Cooper Clarke is one-of-a-kind, and anyone who came of age in the early 1980s will have a giant soft spot for this skinny, all hair and sunglasses raconteur and skillful mangler of words.
Songs/poems like ‘Beasley St’ and ‘Evidently Chickentown’ – where Clarke was backed by the Invisible Girls, a band featuring Joy Division/New Order producer Martin Hannett – were played at just about every student party/gathering in the early to mid ’80s and are therefore burned into the psyches of many 50-somethings now.
Today (we’re assured by the promoters) “he is as relevant and vibrant as ever; his poetry and performance is in school syllabus’ worldwide, his effect on pop culture and music is profound, and his trademark ‘look’ continues to resonate with fashionistas.”
His influence can apparently be heard within the keen social observations of the Arctic Monkeys and Plan B. The Arctic Monkeys put one of John’s best loved poems, ‘I Wanna Be Yours’, to music on their critically acclaimed A:M Album. Musicians line up to heap accolades on Clarke, including Sir Paul McCartney, who said: “John Cooper Clarke is one of Britain’s outstanding poets. His anarchic punk poetry has thrilled people for decades. Long may his slender frame and spiky top produce words and deeds that keep us on our toes and alive to the wonders of the world.”
His 2018 world tour – including these New Zealand shows – is a mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, good honest gags, riffs and chat.
Opening the bill is special guest – and local writer, sailor and musician – Andrew Fagan, blasting out material from his 2018 poetry collection. Fagan was lead singer for Wellington punk band The Ambitious Vegetables formed in ’78, and later of both The Mockers and Fagan & The People.
John Cooper Clarke will perform four dates in New Zealand:
Sat April 21: Crystal Palace, Mt Eden, Aucland.
Sun April 22: The Vic, Devonport, Auckland.
Mon April 23: St Peters on Willis, Wellington.
Tues April 24: The Piano, Christchurch.
Tickets from utr.co.nz