Julian Cope – Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Belfast (5 May 2006)

THE green guitarJulian Cope swaggers on stage and you can tell he’s back on the booze*. This is a good thing. Or, seems so. I couldn’t really say why, I’ve seen him a couple of times since he has been and they’ve been well variable.At the mellotron

It takes him until halfway through the second song (Autogeddon Blues – which quite suits the raggedy-ness) to really get going, but when he does! I’ve dragged so many people along to disappointing Cope gigs that it’s great (and, actually a bit of a relief) to be reminded of just what was so stellar about him in the first place. And, also that – despite his recent ill-advised genre-humping – he actually can still do it.

He gives us a pretty damn fine set of songs too. Nowhere to be seen is the inexplicably popular Upwards At 45°, which is fine by me. We do, however, get Soul Desert which makes me want to pick up my guitar again. He even does the (pre?) Teardrops’ Read It In Books. And, a version of You Disappear From View that makes me want to go seek out the risible “lost” ‘Drops album. He closes with an enormous version of Out Of My Mind On Dope & Speed where he plays every guitar and keyboard he’s brought while Doggen (thankfully on acoustic strumming duties tonight) batters out he two chord riff until they switch the electric off on them.

It's only strung with six, btwOh, there’s one or two that I’d have exchanged/added, but it’s near perfection.

Right, all I need to do now is sort out accommodation for the Burns Festival

*I should of course point out that not drinking for twenty odd years was not because of any ‘problem’ he may have had. Unless you think finding the time to drink when you’re stuffing yourself full of drugs is a problem. While is the carpathian mountains – or similar – researching The Megalithic European he was offered alcohol at a feast given by a village. Obviously not wanting to insult his hosts he partook, and liked. Chalk that up as one for the angels.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

10 May 2006 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Gigs

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