The ticket cost GBP 17.50, which is three and a half times more than it will cost to see me, Michael Stewart, Julia Deakin and Gaia Holmes, at St Margaret’s Hall in Ilkley on 20 October.
John Cooper Clarke was supported by two acts.
The first was called Mike Garry. He arrived on stage swathed in a hat, shades, and a hoodie. He said he would take these off as he became more confident. He did take them off as he became more confident. He transformed himself. He arrived on stage looking like that bloke in a Manchester band who doesn’t really contribute anything, but is nevertheless considered to be a member of the band. He then established himself as a Renaissance Jesus.
Mike Garry’s repertoire included some fast, rhythmic pieces in a JCC style, but also included some in which he went off-mic (not necessarily a good thing) and others in which he took the tempo right down in order to convey stuff to do with child abuse, and the neglect of child abuse by wider society. These were the best moments of the whole evening.
Mike Garry was, like John Cooper Clarke, a Manc. There was some obfuscating distinction about how one was from Manchester and the other from Salford, but we don’t have time for that, here.
Luke Wright, by his own admission, was an Essex boy. He was wearing a very fetching three-piece suit and a bouffant hair style. His act was another high-tempo, rhymed, rhythmical, repetitious set of verse, with banter in between pieces. He made much of the “lion” that had been seen last year.
JCC was his usual self. He arrived on stage looking like a compulsive blood-donor (as he himself has described). JCC is not a poet. JCC is a rock ‘n’ roll star. He did ‘Chicken Town’, of course, but the real rock ‘n’ roll moment was when he sidled up to the microphone on his Twiglet legs and said, simply, “ ‘Twat’, yet?”
The crowd went wild.