Book tickets

Dr John Cooper Clarke


“I say to people, have you heard of John Cooper Clarke and if they say, yes, yeah he’s an absolute genius and you just go, ‘oh – ok, you’ve saved me a lot of time” Steve Coogan

John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s as the original ‘people’s poet’. Since then his career has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents.Today, JCC is as relevant and vibrant as ever, and his influence just as visible on today’s pop culture. Aside from his trademark ‘look’ continuing to resonate with fashionistas young and old, and his poetry included on national curriculum syllabus, his effect on modern music is huge. His influence can be heard within the keen social observations of the Arctic Monkeys and Plan B.

His latest show is a mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, good honest gags, riffs and chat – a chance to witness a living legend at the top of this game.

"John Cooper Clarke uses words like Chuck Berry uses guitar riffs melody and anger, humour and disdain in equal measure. He's the real deal, really funny and really caustic, the velvet voice of discontent."

Kate Moss

"Weirdly it was American crime drama series The Sopranos that introduced me late to England's alternative poet laureate. Towards the end of the final series, in an inspired bit of music placement in television, I heard John's "Chickentown". It grabbed me, leapt straight out of the TV demanding my attention. Here’s this Northerner with a distinctive Manchester accent making what’s effectively a hip-hop record.”

Plan B (Ben Drew)

"My first encounter with Dr Clarke was when he visited Sheffield as the opening act for The Fall many years ago. I’d recently got a band together, but I was working behind the bar that evening. When I think about it now, I'm faced with the image of myself casting a spellbound glance stage-ward on my tiptoes during John's performance, while trying to simultaneously pull a pint into a pot that, as a result of my distraction, has long since overflowed. After I'd dried the ale off my hands I began to reassess my own approach to writing words, inspired by what I'd seen. I witnessed a true artist that night. I was captivated by his character and his ability to draw colourful and evocative language out of what might widely be considered unlikely corners. That figure in the distance behind the microphone brandishing his plastic carrier bag of notebooks was, and still is, nothing short of dazzling.”

Alex Turner (The Arctic Monkeys)

“John was an inspiration to me. Standing alone in front of those hostile audiences who were so full of anger and hate. Then calming them with his wonderful words, it was awe inspiring. I was amazed that someone could take control of those situations.”

Peter Hook (New Order)

"John Cooper Clarke is one of Britain’s outstanding poets. 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. Keep rockin’ John!”

Sir Paul McCartney

"When I first saw John as support to The Clash, my two overwhelming impressions were God! He’s skinny, and, fucking hell! He’s brave. To appear in front of a Clash audience could be a terrifying experience. To stand alone with just a microphone reading poetry took some courage and conviction. John's poetry always has been funny, original, political and cutting.”

Topper Headon (The Clash)

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