"There he goes – the solitary skinny skeletal presence with a hornets nest of words and ideas erupting from behind his impenetrable shades and decomposed black follicles. A totally wired wordsmith of age-defying bebop cool and a beat generation survivor who still lives in the now whilst in celebration of his autobiography ‘I Wanna Be Yours’, the original ‘people’s poet’ Dr. John Cooper Clarke. And is still as funny as fuck…" --LOUDER THAN WARBritain’s best loved and most important performance poet, JOHN COOPER CLARKE, is as vital now as he was in the '70s when his biting satirical political verse, delivered in a unique rapid-fire performance style, resonated with the punk movement. He supported and toured with all the seminal artists (Sex Pistols, The Clash, Buzzcocks, The Fall, Elvis Costello, Joy Division, New Order etc) but drew large crowds in his own right. He found himself as one of the leading voices of punk and youth culture and became known as the “Punk Poet” or “The Bard of Salford”. He's performed worldwide in front of thousands transfixed to his distinctive, and now iconic, visual appearance and his influential catalogue. John Cooper Clarke may be a poet not a musician, but he is still an absolute rock star. Swaggering on stage, a mouth-full of gold teeth, pencil-thin legs in skin-tight trousers and sporting sunglasses and a floppy tweed cap large enough to contain his trademark ‘big’ hair, he oozes charisma and cool. To describe John Cooper Clarke as a poet doesn’t come close to what he does. Yes this is poetry, but it’s also story-telling, confession and stand-up comedy, delivered with the poise, rhythm and vocal dexterity of a rapper. His performances are a masterclass in how spoken word can out-rock rock music.
Manchester's Mike Garry has toured with John Cooper Clarke since 2011, opening shows in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Canada and the USA, John describing Mike as “Me Compadre”. He was a librarian for 15 years before becoming a full time poet. His Ode To St. Anthony, a poem dedicated to the Factory Records boss Tony Wilson and put to classical music, went to Number 1 in 3 Official UK charts in August 2015. He's read his poems in Prisons, Young Offenders Instittues, Mental Health Hospitals, Children’s Homes, youth clubs and local pubs.
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