Bestival is privileged to be able to present for the very first time Britain’s best loved and most important poet, the mercurial John Cooper Clarke.
His biting, satirical, political and very funny verse delivered in his rapid-fire performance style resonated with the punk movement that had begun to pick up speed in the late 70s. After touring with most of punk’s seminal and ground breaking bands including the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Buzzcocks, The Fall, and Elvis Costello, to name but a few, he began to draw large crowds in his own right. Joy Division were proud to open for JCC on numerous occasions and New Order later supported him on their first joint Australian tour.
A figurehead for the movement and all that it encompassed, he became the “Punk Poet” or “The Bard of Salford”, John became one of the leading voices of punk and youth culture of the late 70s. Live, he was performing to thousands across the UK, as crowds gathered with open eyes and ears gazing up at his distinctive, and now iconic visual appearance (tall and thin with a mess of black hair, black sunglasses, drainpipe trousers and cuban-heeled boots) all transfixed as he worked through a catalogue of work taken from his four studio albums and numerous singles.
As punk died so did John’s output to a certain degree, but he never ceased to be relevant, as each new generation searched for their punk, inevitably they found John, his words, his world, his genius and as time has passed so John has found himself revitalised, continuing to tour and now writing new material he is once again a mouthpiece for psyche of young British rebellion and we welcome him to Bestival with open arms.