REVIEW: Julian Cope - Newcastle Riverside

Julian Cope onstage at Newcastle Riverside.
Julian Cope onstage at Newcastle Riverside.

It’s easy to forget that Julian Cope and his group Teardrop Explodes were once the early 80s’ contemporaries of the likes of U2 and Simple Minds.

Where those bands went on to stadium rock success, frontman Cope went on a very different musical journey.

The singer-songwriter forged an increasingly leftfield and avant garde path to garner a cult following, and is now considered something of national treasure.

Cope’s latest release, an album of drinking songs called Drunken Songs, comes after becoming a born-again beer drinker after spending 20-odd years sober.

Armed with his acoustic guitar, Cope regaled the Riverside crowd with songs like Drink Me Under The Table.

Unfortunately, he didn’t perform Liver Big As Hartlepool, despite numerous shouts from certain members of the audience.

The hirsute and be-hatted artist did delve into his extensive back catalogue to perform the likes of Autogeddon Blues, Sun Spots and Mighty Carl Jung.

All this was interspersed with between-song banter, quips and comic asides that kept the audience engaged.

To the delight of his older fans, Cope finished the set with the Teardrop Explodes hit Treason.

It rounded off a great evening with one of British music’s true mavericks - the man should have his own blue plaque!