Renowned punk-poet Dr John Cooper Clarke is set to play the renovated Middlesbrough Town Hall as part of an extension of his latest tour.
The ‘original people’s poet’ recently launched his first collection in 30 years entitled ‘The Luckiest Guy Alive’ which will be at the heart of the evening. He will be joined by various special guests across the tour (still to be announced in Middlesbrough at time of writing) whilst he discusses his writing process, performs his latest poems and will no doubt delight the audience with classic poems such as ‘Beasley Street’ and ‘Evidently Chicken Town’.
There is a chance, a small chance albeit, that some readers haven’t heard of Dr John Cooper Clarke and if you’re one of them, imagine Keith Richards if he decided to dedicate himself to poetry.
However, after a few moments of listening to him, as an audience, you’re left feeling that Cooper Clarke may well have seen more whisky nights and rock ‘n’ roll than all of the Stones combined and turned them into verse with a twist of dry and dark wit.
During his readings, he describes the problems and quirks of Britain with eerie familiarity and irreverent love. Add to this the social conscience of punk and a complete disregard for impressing the literary or cultural powers that be, and somehow Middlesbrough has the good fortune to host this legendary, sharp and wise raconteur.
Whilst captivating celebrity fans such as Steve Coogan, Peter Hook and Paul McCartney, John Cooper Clarke passionately remains a man of the people and his work is a tribute to the ordinary, humorous and indeed sometimes miserable reality of life in modern Britain.
He delivers gritty messages about urban life that have stood the test of time and are even more relevant today than when Cooper Clarke emerged during the explosion of punk in the 1970s. Songs, stories and verse will form a unique set stripped back by a performer who enjoys nothing more than sharing experiences with his audience.
Poetry is a vastly underperformed medium at local venues, and this performer is one of the masters.
Dr John Cooper Clarke heads to Middlesbrough Town Hall on Thursday 21st February.
Tickets, priced at £22.50 (plus booking fee) are available from middlesbroughtownhall.co.uk.