festivals: bbc 6 music festival, newcastle

To believe the former heroin-addicted, era-defining punk-poet Dr John Cooper Clarke, is still delivering scintillating performances  bursting with tongue-and-cheek anecdotes and brutal wordplay in 2015 is an extraordinary concept to comprehend. Biker’s Star And Shadow Cinema had the honour of playing host to the drainpipe-figured Bard Of Salford on February 21st, as part of the BBC 6 Music Festival celebrations.

Delving straight into the heart of comedy, the kooky Cooper Clarke rhetorically asked: “Everyone likes a good limerick right?” The shaggy mess of black matted hair continued: “Two ugly sisters from Fordem took a walk one day out of boredom. On the way back, a sex maniac jumped out of a bush and ignored them.”

Impossibly witty and controversially outstanding, Cooper Clarke treated fans to: insightful incidents from his younger years; the reasoning behind his first marriage failing – “astrology kids, listen to it” –  and hilariously claiming coinage on Elvis’ ‘Hound Dog’: “You ain’t never pricked a predator, you ain’t no porcupine”.

Alongside Cooper Clarke’s timeless tales, the iconic spoken-word poet indulged the crowd in the glorious poems which carved his name into the history books of the 70’s punk movement. Classic poem ‘Beasley Street’ came fully-dressed in glamorous glory, as well as it’s processer, ‘Beasley Boulevard’, getting a live airing.

The side-splitting, comedic ‘Pies’ and closing speech, ‘I’ve Fallen In Love With My Wife’ – dedicated to “the young lovers in the room” – also had the privileged of being vented by the monotone magician.

Met with a semi-standing ovation, the legendary John Cooper Clarke thanked the crowd with a cheeky grin before exiting stage right. Leaving the compact room in a bubble of sheer awe, Cooper Clarke put his money where his mouth is and proved, even after all this time, he still reigns supreme.

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