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John Cooper Clarke @ Sunset Festival, Wimbledon Common

September 19, 2021

Saturday 18th September

Merchandise: Books (not signed)

The Wombles had competition tonight as John Cooper Clarke entertained a sold-out tent with poems and readings. Bookended by perfomances of The Luckiest Guy Alive and I Want To Be Yours, Clarke read passages from his new autobiography. In this he was aided and abetted by his road manager Johnny Green, who used to perform the same function for The Clash. Facing each other in cream IKEA armchairs they made an unlikely but effective double act. Clarke is still stick thin with anarchic hair but he now perches reading glasses in front of his omnipresent Raybans. The set had a loose spontaneous quality, aided by questions from the audience. These prompted ruminations on living in Stevenage and why you should never buy trousers from a heterosexual. Cultural icons abounded with Nico, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and Bernard Manning all making an appearance. Clarke explained gleefully how his adoption by The Arctic Monkeys has exposed him to a much younger audience. Live performance is Clarke’s raison d’etre, the vitality of tonight’s show suggests he will not be hanging up his shiny-black Chelsea boots any time soon.

This review was written for Record Collector magazine

From → Gigs

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