Gig review: Julian Cope at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Julian Cope
Julian Cope
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“Congratulations on surviving 2016!”

Considering just how many of our cultural icons and artists dearly departed over the course of last year, it is little surprise that 2017 has afforded this heckle from one audience member.

Julian Cope, once aloof and untouchable as front-man of The Teardrop Explodes, takes this opening gambit with gusto in the sold out intimate setting of the Brudenell Social Club.

Referred to as a hippie, a druid and raconteur, whatever the title Julian Cope has attained over his career, tonight he is master of ceremonies as he confidently draws from his catalogue including ‘Autogeddon Blues’, ‘The Culture Bunker’ and ‘World Shut Your Mouth’.

Sporting the appearance of a wizard in biking leathers, Julian Cope took to the stage alone, with nothing more than his acoustic guitar and biting wit to whip up the loyal crowd into a Friday night frenzy.

Playing to the strengths of the venue, the singer-songwriter could interact with the audience, creating a play-off of wits and tall tales, essentially breaking down the tried and tested ‘us and them’ approach of band and fan.

All the tracks played were introduced with a tongue-in-cheek banter regarding the origins of the song. The play on words naming of ‘Liver As Big As Hartlepool’ or deducing that all great moments in history can be put down to the fact that ‘They Were On Hard Drugs’.

Few Teardrop Explodes songs were in the set, but those that made it were well received including ‘The Great Dominions’.

After an overwhelmingly enjoyable set, fans were treat to favourite ‘Pristeen’, that saw the crowd all on their feet, beer in hand chanting the lyrics back to their idol as the pilgrimage came to a close.

He’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy and long may that continue so we shall reap the reward.

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