Hangin’ With Mr Cooper Clarke

We couldn’t loiter on the streets of Eccles without giving a nod to The Bard Of Salford himself, so here we are with a brace of John Cooper Clarke’s reggae tinged rantings.

The seemingly peerless role of a “punk poet” still garnered support slots with a list of legends, seeing JCC open shows for the likes of everyone from The Sex Pistols to Linton Kwesi Johnson. The latter’s rootical rhymes reflected in JCC’s rhythm section; Martin Hannet and Steve Hopkins often donned the dreaded hat to produce a spiky skanker for John under their guise as the Invisible Girls.

The earliest examples of these can be heard on his 3rd 7″ and 1st LP respectively. (I Married) A Monster From Outer Space (Third Version) sees the Michael Bowe parodied poem set to a subdued steppers slump, overlaid with Hopkins’ keys which bizarrely preempt piano house by nearly a decade.

On the other hand Strange Bedfellows from his debut LP Disguise In Love is more pronounced, marrying upbeat chords with a downbeat lope which JCC spits across with his usual gusto, spouting rhymes about a jealous town and a city under suspicion…

And of course the obligatory TV spot, and who better to sign this one off than Greater Manchester’s greatest exponent and impresario, Tony Wilson.

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