Julian C0pe, Blur, Danny Thompson, Geoffrey King, Courtney Pine, On-U Sound tour andthe
Dutch Swing College Band.
LISTINGS: ROCK & BLUES 35 JAZZ 39 FOLK & WORLD 41 LIGHT 38 CLASSICAL 42
Bless his cotton socks, he‘s in the charts. Again. Julian Cope has proved to be one ofthe most durable products of the post-punk Liverpool explosion, and Paul W. Hullah, for one. is looking forward to his ‘asshole-kicking’ tour reaching Scotland.
Rock and roll needs its eccentrics like a guitarist needs his strings. And they don‘t come more eccentric than the self-proclaimed Saint Julian Cope. Having recently made his regular five-yearly foray into chartland. via the impeccably catchy ‘Beautiful Love‘ and its follow-up. ‘East Easy Rider‘. Cope is currently touring with a live show that is. by all accounts. the
- most coherent expression of his fractured. , undisciplined pop-persona that he‘s ever put
before the public.
lt's thirteen years since Liverpool‘s Zoo records released the Sleeping Gas EP by The Teardrop Explodes — a group who took their name from a
i comic-book caption and their inspiration from Cope‘s impish musical eclecticism. From the first
Teardrops tour in 1981 when. podgy and
; acne~smitten. he played ramshackle bass and sang out of key. to more recent Anti-Poll-Tax Rally
appearances as a gaunt. fidgety Dickensian figure. Cope has never seemed wholly comfortable with the limelight he so openly and brazenly craves in his press.
And how. He has always polarised critical
; opinion: some have him down as a ‘drug-addled : laughing stock' while others proclaim him a
. .r v . Julian Cope and alter-ego Squbbsy ‘genius. pure and simple‘. Jim Morrison. Jimi Hendrix and Syd Barrett are his heroes and musical reference points; like all three. (‘ope toes the thin line between elevated insight and oafish self-indulgence. Ten years of LSD. now well behind him. didn‘t help much either. Fora while (see the Fried album cover). he found the confines of an outsized polystyrene turtle shell more suited to housing his talent than the more orthodox confines of a recording studio. This is the man who believes he was an Eskimo shaman in a previous life. and who carries a Polaroid photograph of his wife. naked. in his pocket. The man who. in 1984. slashed open his stomach with a mike-stand at at Hammersmith l’alais comeback gig. simultaneously quoting Kenneth Williams from Carry On ('let): ‘lnfamy. infamy. they've all got it in for me.‘ He is to be respected (or at least tolerated) for such ostentatious. extra-curricular activities for the simple reason that he has yet to make a bad record. Peggy Suicide. his current double-set ofwised-up observations and incisive melodies. is one of his best efforts to date. and its success has put him on the road once more.
‘You know what'." he bellows. ‘I wanted to make an album that cared so much and understood so
' much. but wasn‘t at all po-faced. [wanted people
to see it as more magical. caring in a real “I love my species” way. ‘Cos I fell in love with mankind. and I just thought. hey. I wannabe so good. I wanna turn people on so much that they‘ll wanna turn
1 everybody else on. Just get everyone turned on in
a psychic. sexual way and it‘ll be really good . . .'
Reflecting this certifiable madness. and a time-worn schizophrenic approach to his art. the current tour promises. where possible. a Jekyll and Hyde formula — two dates in each town. the fist an ‘intimate. subdued‘ soiree. and the second night a ‘looser. asshole-kicking affair. So. depending as to whether you prefer intimacy. or having your rear-end assaulted. book accordingly. (The Edinburgh one-nighter will. presumably. be an amalgam ofthe two — an intimate. asshole-kicking session). Typically crazy. typically Julian.
Because. even though he was born in Wales. there‘s something remarkably English (not British. but English) about Cope. in the same way that there‘s something essentially English about Monty Python. about tea and tiffin. about Shakespeare‘s sonnets. Beautiful contradictions inhabit his gorgeous/ugly frame like doubt and fragile hopes of a proper love fill up his recent songs. From his self-imposed exile from workaday normality (though never to the extent of political apathy) to his fake public-school posh name. Julian Cope stands for flamboyance and unpredictability in a music scene where those two things all too often translate into airbrushed foppishness and designer cant.
‘l‘ve always admired outsiders.‘ he eagerly confirms. ‘reul outsiders. people who don‘t choose to be outside. but just find themselves there. I‘m doing okay on that score. but I‘ve got a lot more to come. I don‘t think I‘m really all the way there yet. And I do have this tremendous desire to be understood.‘ _
Far out. and going further — Julian (‘ope is that precious. marginal thing that makes the edges of art the best bits. forever a joy to behold.
Julian ( 'ope plays ( 'altun Studios. Edinburgh on .S'atZ7and King Tut's Wah Walt llut. (ilasgtm' on 810128 and Man 29.
ITO GLENROTHES. where Men (‘siclr perverts-Mike the growing Rothes Rock Read. Radio 1) and local events will now be held on a rockers Nobody's Heroes.
monthly basis. starting on
Similar events are getting
Sat 27 in Crystals Arena underway in Klrircaldy, as (£3). Perth's Daylight at 17 May. in Anthonies Robbery will be making an Hotel, and plots are being appearance. along with hatched tor a File Rock Glasgow's notorious Bad showcase to be held in the
Adam Smith Centre nearer the end oi the year and a compilation CD oi Fiie bands.
I ONE OF THE busiest hives
oi activity at the moment is Glasgow's Venue. which is running both rock and indie programmes, the rock side tollowing the same policy as the old Videodrome shows. its a rule, the same bands will be playing on Sundays as played the Edinburgh Venue the previous night. See listings tor details 01 this iortnight's
shows. but coming up are SweetAddiction and FM (5 May). Helliire Club (ex-Furs, Cult and Zodiac Mindwarp. 19 May). Dunderlunk (26). Lisa Dominique (2 June). Roadhouse (9), Mama's Boys (23). On the indie side, tollowing the only Scottish appearances at Mega City 4, Tad and The Lemonheads are Five Thirty (9 May). Curve (16). Swervedriver(7 June). Senseless Things (11
date tor the diary is an odd (are there any other kind?) Butthole Suriers show on 14 June, which will apparently not be under that nameand will iealure mainly Jack Dtticers material. Members oi Archaos will be on hand to do . . .well. the sortol things that members at Archaos do. And remember, lrids. it the indie shows are on on a Friday or Saturday. they’re a 7.30pm start.
I WE'RE NOT TO be outdone ourselves. The special showcase tor the
three prize-winners oi the ‘List’/McEwans Lager demo tape competition—The Orange Grove. Worldogood and Pure Blind Panic— is set tor 28 May. as part otthe new Demo Disco season in King Tut's. This gig oiiuture stars slides in with periect symmetry alongside shows by more established acts at King Tut's like Spiritualized (15 May). The Milltown Brothers (17). Teenage Fan Club (21) and Fatima Mansions (23).
The List 19 April — 2 May 199129