Julian Cope Live ICA: Born To Entertain

I won’t hesitate in saying that I have an unconditional love for Julian Cope and his music. I was too young to really be there at the beginning, but I have stuck by the Arch Drude through thick and thin, pop and political prog, and all the points in between. Hell, I still play the Queen Elizabeth CDs and enjoy them. When Strictly Rockers posted the first of his excellent ICAs way back in 2015, he touted further ICAs, Cope Remixed, Cope Covered and Cope Live. The first two made it to a follow-up post the same year and I looked forward to the latter. Five years later, I really had to scratch that itch so I’ve bravely or foolishly attempted one…

Like Strictly Rockers, I’ve seen more Julian Cope gigs and own more (physical) albums and singles than any other artist. One or two of these records were also bought in WH Smiths in Bristol, so I suspect SR and I may have been in the same crowd at the same gig on many occasions in Bristol and Bath over the years. Small world…

It all started for me with the My Nation Underground tour at the Bristol Colston Hall. My ticket is currently AWOL in the attic but, according to the internet, this was Saturday 22nd October 1988. The gig was particularly memorable for Cope’s leopard print blouse, his infamous climbing frame mike stand, and a rousing 12-minute version of Reynard The Fox, although on this occasion he thankfully chose not to slash open his stomach with a Stanley knife.

Instead, at one point, Julian Cope got down off the stage, made a beeline for me and pressed his sweat-beaded brow against my own as we both sang into the mike. He then departed and got straight back onto the stage and didn’t leave it again for the rest of the concert. I have no idea why he singled me out, and sadly I can’t even remember what the particular song was (!) but it left an impression that has never faded. I’ve since seen Cope in a variety of settings, with a full-band or acoustic solo, playing epic, nearly 3-hour concerts or reciting lyrics and poetry when laryngitis meant that he lost his singing voice partway through a gig. His memorable performance in a monkey half-mask and banana yellow kecks at the first Phoenix Festival in 1992 was the absolute highlight of that weekend. And, perhaps inevitably, Julian Cope at the Barbican, London in February 2020 turned out to be the last live show I saw before COVID-19 put us all into lockdown.

It’s an almost impossible task trying to compile a Julian Cope Live ICA, so I imposed some very strict rules to give myself a slight chance of success:

1) Stick to 10 songs only, no bonus EPs or alternative albums this time;
2) No cover versions, Teardrop Explodes, Brain Donor or other side projects;
3) No singles (although I had to make one exception);
4) No songs over 10 minutes (including between song banter/preamble/anecdotes);
5) Include at least one selection from gigs in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s

There are some glaring omissions: no Pristeen or Greatness And Perfection and nothing from Saint Julian, Droolian or Peggy Suicide, but I hope this selection gives a flavour of Julian Cope as a songwriter, raconteur and live performer. The title of this ICA is taken from a line in Las Vegas Basement (again, cruelly omitted from this selection). Julian Cope was undoubtedly “Born To Entertain”, so here I go…


1) Soul Desert (Live @ The Fleece Bristol, 09 Feb 2020) (bootleg recording)

The opening song on the epic Jehovahkill has also been a regular concert opener since and is perfectly suited to Cope’s latter day by-necessity solo acoustic gigs. This version is nearly twice the length of the original and stretches out the tension with a number of false build ups to the inevitable climax. For the real heads.

2) Bill Drummond Said (Live In Japan, 1991) (Live Japan ’91, 2004)

This jaunty ‘tribute’ to The Teardrops Explodes’ former manager appeared on a self-released live CD via Cope’s Head Heritage site. Given the quality of Cope’s performances, it’s a wonder that Island records didn’t release an official live album when Julian Cope was signed to the label. This is a fantastic album/concert and this full-band version is no exception, with a lovely ‘plink-plonk’ keyboard motif.

3) Don’t Take Roots (Live @ Barrowlands, Glasgow, 30 Sep 1995) (Barrowlands, 2019)

A throwaway, dispensable track from 20 Mothers or an irresistibly groovy song? Probably a bit of both, to be honest, but I love this song. I saw the Propheteering tour at Bristol’s Anson Rooms the week before this version in Glasgow was recorded and it was an amazing, epic show. Thighpaulsandra’s only tour with Cope apparently, but all of the band are on fire here. The self-released CD condenses a 3-hour show into 70 minutes, is still available to buy on the Head Heritage site and I’d highly recommend it.

4) Autogeddon Blues (Live @ Moseley Folk Festival, Birmingham, 01 Sep 2012) (bootleg recording)

I’ll admit, I found Autogeddon a disappointment following Peggy Suicide and Jehovahkill, but time and distance has given me a greater appreciation for the album as a whole. Autogeddon Blues, along with Paranormal In The West Country, was the stand-out and has remained a live staple. Dedicated here to “Spaghetti Junction”, this live version includes a brief example of Cope’s way with an introduction, which have sometimes been known to be longer than the songs themselves.

5) Sunspots (Live @ The Ritz, New York, 28 Jan 1987) (bootleg recording)

Sunspots may possibly be my favourite Julian Cope song of all, Top 5 at least if I were inclined to make a list, and maybe the greatest hit that never was. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Cope gig where Sunspots wasn’t performed, but I will admit that the 21st Century acoustic versions are inevitably lacking something (and I don’t just mean the oboe). This full-band version is closer to what I would have experienced in Bristol back in 1988 and adds a whole new lyrical section. The car that Julian Cope was driving around with his very best friend in? A Karmann Ghia, of course.


6) Reynard The Fox (Live @ Barrowlands, Glasgow, 30 Sep 1995) (Barrowlands, 2019)

A 12-minute “Live In Tokyo” version appeared as a B-side to 5 o’Clock World. This is more faithful to the original album version, though the constraints of stripped-down concerts mean that I haven’t heard the song performed for a long, long time. The core band – Mike “Moon-Eye” Mooney (guitar), Keith Richard Frost (bass) and Mark “Rooster” Cosby (drums) – had played with Cope for many years at this point and with Thighpaulsandra “at the controls” the song enters the rock cosmos at the end. Apologies that there is some distortion/crackle in this recording/my copy of the CD.

7) You Will Be Mist (Live @ BBC 6 Music Festival, Liverpool, 31 Mar 2019) (bootleg recording)

I didn’t see Julian Cope perform in 2019, so this may well have been the premiere and only live airing of the song that subsequently appeared on this year’s excellent Self Civil War. In this year’s tour, only 2 songs from Self Civil War were played in London, reduced to 1 song for the Bristol date, neither of which were this one. This is a shame as it’s a good song and perfectly suited to the minimal live set up. This was broadcast live on BBC6 with 2 other ‘classic’ songs and an interview with DJ/presenter Mark Radcliffe. Radcliffe briefly appears in the intro and presumably hits the wrong button about a minute in…

8) Robert Mitchum (Live @ The Globe Cardiff, 2011) (bootleg recording)

“Just a piece of fluff to a hero but the middle 8 is as anti-fucking-religion as you like”, as described in the intro. Robert Mitchum originally appeared on 1989’s Skellington, a ‘semi-official bootleg’ released in the wake of the overproduced My Nation Underground. It’s since become a Cope favourite and appears here in a delightful whistling-free, ‘ba-ba-ba’ singalong version. Whilst researching, I came across a contemporary review of the Cardiff gig in the South West Argus. The article has the unfortunate strapline “On the day Sir Jimmy Savile, God bless him, expired, the post-punk equivalent of the tracksuited treasure bedazzled Cardiff with his virtuoso eccentricity.” I suspect journalist Adrian Colley may now regret comparing Julian Cope with the UK’s most high-profile and prolific sex offender…

9) I’m Living In The Room They Found Saddam In (Live @ The Royal Festival Hall, London, 21 Jan 2005) (Concert Climax: Live In The Hearing Of The Motherfucker, 2005)

One of the highlights of the long-promised and delayed album Citizen Cain’d, this song also appeared the same year on Concert Climax. It was advertised at the time as “a high quality Italian live album which is likely to only be available on the tour as we only managed to get a limited number and can’t guarantee we’ll get any more”. In all likelihood another self-released album, its a mix of sessions and live tracks, this one from 2005’s Cornucopia tour. At the time, Kitty Empire of NME slated the London gigs as “the most wrongheaded of ego trips”. The Guardian newspaper was equally damning (a whopping 2/5), reviewer David Peschek dismissing the new songs as “simply witless”. This may be intentionally true of Cope’s side-project Brain Donor, but I think this song deserves better and in my opinion the live version here tops the original.

10) Out Of My Mind On Dope And Speed (Live @ The Fleece Bristol, 09 Feb 2020) (bootleg recording)

And back to this year’s Bristol gig for a regular set closer, including Cope’s crowd directions for his encore. The Fleece layout has no stage door, so Cope regularly has a faux exit-and-return in plain sight, to now-familiar crowd amusement. This is another Skellington favourite, a full-band competitive wig-out in its original version. This acoustic guitar and keyboard performance arguably lacks some of the impact of the album version but is a fitting end to the concert and this ICA.

In place of the bonus EP/album, I have stitched the songs together into a continuous audio experience on my Mixcloud page (click here for the link). Nothing like the real thing and waaaaay too short for a genuine Cope gig, but stick your headphones on and imagine you’ve paid a few quid for an amateur bootleg cassette and you’re halfway there. Enjoy!



Picture the scene.

A radio station is churning out some classic 80s hits, one of which causes a listener to recall how much he (for it is inevitably a ‘he’) adored it back in the day and that he would love to get his hands on a copy. He’s one of those blokes who is bigging-up the vinyl revival of the second decade of the 21st century, rueing the day 25 years ago when he threw his records in a skip having spent a fortune buying much of it again on CD format.

He spends much of his spare time these days roaming around second-hand stores, hoping for bargains but happy to pay whatever the asking price is for a record he is fond of. He spies this album and smiles as it was the song he’d heard the other day on the radio.

The only problem for our ‘hero’ is that while the album may be called World Shut Your Mouth, the hit single of the same name is nowhere to be found. Indeed, the music on the album bears absolutely no resemblance to the hit single and sounds like the work of a madman rather than a pop star. He feels conned and cheated.

By the way, that’s all just an imaginary scene in my head. I don’t think it ever actually happened…….

It’s fair to say that very few, if any, of the material from Julian Cope’s 1984 debut LP gets aired much on mainstream radio stations nowadays. Indeed, I’d be surprised if anything other than his 1987 smash single, which can be found on the highly accessible Saint Julien LP, gets much of a spin. WSYM is one of those brilliant, dance-floor filling pop songs that offers the killer combination of memorable tune and chorus with a wonderful production which prevents it dating. Believe me, if you click on this mp3 download, it will stick in your brain for hours on end. You’ll end up thinking that Julian should update the lyric and re-release it by substituting the word ‘Trump’ for ‘World’

mp3 : Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth

A #19 hit here in the UK, it also enjoyed a #22 placing on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, a fact on its own that would have given Julian some food for thought as there’s no way he ever wanted to be described as either mainstream or rock.

His subsequent solo career never spanned those heights again, although a few more of his 45s did creep into the lower end of the UK charts, a situation I’m sure he was more than comfortable about, much to the chagrin of his label bosses.

WSYM was issued in 7” and 12” format, in this sleeve.

The 12” offered up four very interesting and diverse b-sides, including a couple of covers:-

mp3 : Julian Cope – I’ve Got Levitation
mp3 : Julian Cope – Umpteenth Unnatural Blues
mp3 : Julian Cope – Non-Alignment Pact
mp3 : Julian Cope – Transporting

The first track of these was written and recorded by cult 60s American psychedelic outfit The 13th Floor Elevators, a band that Julian had been championing since way back in his days with The Teardrop Explodes. The other cover is the third track, this time of a song by Pere Ubu, a group who christened themselves ‘avant-garage’ as an explanation that the foundations of their music can be found in avant-garde and the very raw garage rock. They were another group much quoted by Julian Cope but I’ve certainly always found them to be just too acquired for my own tastes. Maybe there’s an ICA from someone out there…..

Worth mentioning that production and engineering credits for the b-sides sit with an individual by the name of Double DeHarrison…..which is just one of a number of aliases adopted by Julian Cope over the past near 40 years in the music business.




Another guest posting from Strictly Rockers…..

You’ll recall that a few weeks back, Strictly Rockers threw in his ICA for Julian Cope and in doing so said:-

I gave myself constraints naively thinking that restrictions might make the task easier! I first tried ‘Cope Remixed’, ‘Cope Live’, ‘Cope Covers’ and ‘Covered’ before settling on the collection you see below. Ok, I know it’s not perfect, but it’ll do for now.  If anyone is interested in hearing any of these alternate comps, let me or JC know!

A number of you said you fancied that, so I’m again handing the blog over to the capable fingers of SR.

Cope Covers : An Imaginary Album

Cope’s evangelical enthusiasm for spreading musical knowledge is well known. His ‘Fire Escape In The Sky’ compilation championed the then largely-forgotten Scott Walker back in 1981 and his writing in the Krautrock and Japrock samplers, Unsung online column and Copendium have brought hundreds of bands to the attention of a new audience. These covers give a good indication just where his musical head was throughout his career.

1) 5 O’Clock World / I Know A Place (Single, 1988)

Kicking off with a two-fer. Not content to merely do a tight cover of The Vogue’s ‘5 O’Clock World’, Cope and his ‘two-car garage band’ add a burst of Petula Clark‘s ‘I Know A Place’ for the middle eight. One of the few bright spots from the much-maligned ‘My Nation Underground’ LP.

2) I Have Always Been Here Before (Fear Loves This Place 12” B-Side, 1992)

3) I’ve Got Levitation (WSYM 12” B-Side, 1986)

Two products of Cope’s 13th Floor Elevators fixation. Making them his own by a judicious adaptation of the original lyrics.

4) Mother, Where Is My Father? (Preaching Revolution 7” EP, 2008)

Cover of a 1968 David Peel & The Lower East Side single by Cope with Black Sheep, a loose collective formed for the ‘Joe Strummer Memorial Busking Tour’. A 3-day busking tour of UK cultural centres.

5) Don’t Jump Me, Mother (Try Try Try B-Side, 1995)

Cover of an obscure 1978 single by DMZ.

6) Non-Alignment Pact (WSYM 12” B-Side, 1986)

Triumphant cover of the Pere Ubu classic. A live favourite from the ‘Saint Julian’ years

7) A Question Of Temperature (Charlotte Anne 12” B-Side, 1988)

Brilliant cover of a 1968 Balloon Farm 7”.

8) Soul Medley: 1991 BBC Session (Floored Genius 2, 1993)

– Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow (Funkadelic)
– Everything Playing At Once (Cope)
– Are You Hung Up? (Mothers Of Invention)
– Hung Up And Hanging Out To Dry (Cope)

Recorded for a John Peel session in 1991 around the time of ‘Peggy Suicide’.

Both Cope’s mind & ass very much free and erm… hanging out.

9) Satisfaction 1978 demo (Floored Genius 3, 2000)

Early demo from a pre-Teardrop Cope along with future Bunnyman Will Sergeant & Wild Swan Paul Simpson channelling Devo rather than the Stones original.

10) Rock Section (12″ Single, 2014)

This cover of a Skin Patrol song was an elaborate Cope construct (as Dayglo Maradona) to promote the alternative reality of his ‘131’ novel.

mp3 : Julian Cope – 5 O’Clock World/I Know A Place
mp3 : Julian Cope – I Have Always Been Here Before
mp3 : Julian Cope – I’ve Got Levitation
mp3 : Julian Cope – Mother, Where Is My Father?
mp3 : Julian Cope – Don’t Jump Me Mother
mp3 : Julian Cope – Non-Alignment Pact
mp3 : Julian Cope – A Question of Temperature
mp3 : Julian Cope – Soul Medley
mp3 : Julian Cope – Satisfaction
mp3 : Dayglo Maradona – Rock Section

Cope Remixed : An Imaginary Album

‘Remix engineers? I shit ’em’. Cope has a uneasy relationship with the remix. Distancing himself from extended or alternate versions as an necessary evil of the major-label life throughout the 80’s, he found the results variously disappointing or unnecessary, however, with planets aligned and minds met, the results are genius.

1) Pussyface (Remix), 1984

A song originally included on the third Teardrop Explodes album as ‘Sex’, Cope was unhappy with the result and re-recorded it for his debut solo album.

This version was the B-Side of the ‘Greatness & Perfection’ single ‘Re-mixed for Muffing The Mule’ by producer Steven Lovell.

2 Julian Cope vs Trouble Funk World Shut Your Mouth (Trouble Funk Mix), 1986

Cope’s “loser’s anthem”. After a pedestrian start it takes an unexpected turn in the second half.

3) Trampolene Warne Out! (Long Version), 1987

Long-form single remixed from the Saint Julian album by Warne Livesey who also worked with The The on Infected

4) Eve’s Volcano – !Vulcano Lungo! (Covered In Sin), 1987

Remixed by Tom ‘Lord’ Alge fresh from his work with OMD(!), Peter Gabriel(!!) &… Billy Idol(!!!)

5) Love (L.U.V.) (Beautiful Love Remix)

6) Easty Risin’ (East Easy Rider Remix)

7) Heed: Of Penetration & The City Dweller (Head Remix) (all 1991)

A trio of Peggy Suicide singles remixed by former Bocca Junior Hugo ‘Hugoth’ Nicholson originally on pastel-coloured vinyl (pink, yellow & blue) in sealed boxes that fell apart on removing the vinyl – later compiled on the Dancing Heads CD and the deluxe version of Peggy Suicide.

8) Soldier Blue Hiphoprisy Mix#1 (Unreleased)

An inspired, unreleased Michael Franti mix of proposed fourth Peggy Suicide single. Born of a shared record label (Island) and a love of Lenny Bruce.

9) Paranormal In The Westcountry (Krankenhausmusik Mix), 1994

One of four remixes on a special fan club only 4-track EP.

10) Planetary Sit‐In (Being a Radio Sit‐In Remix), 1996

Fully embracing the multi-format culture Cope released two singles, ‘I Come From Another Planet, Baby’ & ‘Planetary Sit-In’ from the LP Interpreter.  Both on 2xCD – the first being (fairly) conventional 4 track Eps, but the second featuring hyper-extended version of the singles. ‘…Another Planet’ is stretched to an incredible 38 minute ‘Ambulance’ version with the song washing in and out of consciousness. ‘Planetary Sit-In’ here, is a mere 20 minutes and takes the form of a bizarre radio show featuring Cope’s wife Dorian, Mark Radcliffe, Bill Bailey and Cope cohorts Thighpaulsandra and Mike Joyce offering ‘banter’, invocations, ‘ethical consumer news’ and a phone in. You will only want to listen to this once. Enjoy!

Cope Remixed: Bonus EP (on hand-numbered coloured vinyl!)

A-Side) Rock Section (Andrew Weatherall Mix) Dayglo Maradona, 2014

A cover of a Skin Patrol song. Mixed by Cope (as Dayglo Maradona). Remixed by Weatherall. Limited remix on white vinyl 12″ released by Faber & Faber as the soundtrack to Cope’s 131 novel. Blinding.

B-Side) (I Am The) Trampolene (To The Other Side) GHP, 2011

The Verve, The Drude & The Doors Meet The Walrus Uptown. Courtesy of the always excellent Go Home Productions (Visit: for more goodies).

mp3 : Julian Cope – Pussyface (remix)
mp3 : Julian Cope vs Trouble Funk – World Shut Your Mouth (Trouble Funk Mix)
mp3 : Julian Cope – Trampolene (Warne Out Mix)
mp3 : Julian Cope – Eve’s Volcano – !Vulcano Lungo! (Covered In Sin)
mp3 : Julian Cope – Love (L.U.V.) (Beautiful Love Remix)
mp3 : Julian Cope – Easty Risin’ (East Easy Rider Remix)
mp3 : Julian Cope – Heed: Of Penetration & The City Dweller (Head Remix)
mp3 : Julian Cope – Soldier Blue Hiphoprisy Mix#1
mp3 : Julian Cope – Paranormal In The Westcountry (Krankenhausmusik Mix)
mp3 : Julian Cope – Planetary Sit‐In (Being a Radio Sit‐In Remix)

mp3 : Dayglo Maradona – Rock Section (Weatherall Mix)
mp3 : Go Home Productions – (I Am The) Trampolene (To The Other Side)

…strictly rockers….



A debut guest posting from Strictly Rockers…..

Julian Cope is the only artist I feel remotely qualified to compile for an Imaginary Album having picked up my first Cope cassette (Fried, £3 from WH Smiths, Bristol) in 1984.

He is the artist I’ve seen live most and own more albums than any other. Following the Archdrude through thick and thin sometimes feels more ordeal than pleasure (Dark Orgasm?, Queen Elizabeth?) and his prolific output occasionally appears to shoot wide but, in his words, he is always ‘true to my metaphor’ and never fails to deliver on attitude, enthusiasm and sheer energy.

His autobiographies (‘Head On’ & ‘Reposessed’) set the benchmark for rock reminiscence and his writing about Megalithic Europe together with his evangelical promotion of music in ‘Krautrocksampler’ and ‘Japrocksampler’ and the online ‘Unsung’ album reviews (now happily compiled in the awesome ‘Copendium’ book) are persuasive enough to promote interest in previously unexplored musical and cultural areas. And that’s before we get into his works of fiction!

Faced with the daunting job of distilling a career spanning over 35 years and over 30 albums into a mere 10 songs is a task too far for me.

This is by no means a ‘Best Of’, for that, start with the essential ‘Floored Genius’ collections and the excellent ‘Trip Advizer’.

I gave myself constraints naively thinking that restrictions might make the task easier! I first tried ‘Cope Remixed’, ‘Cope Live’, ‘Cope Covers’ and ‘Covered’* before settling on the collection you see below. Ok, I know it’s not perfect, but it’ll do for now. There’ll be another along in a moment…

*If anyone is interested in hearing any of these alternate comps, let me or JC know!

Throughout his illustrious career, both in the Teardrops and solo, one phrase has endured in the Cope lyrical canon…

Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen & Drudes, I give you:

‘Ba Ba Ba’: A Julian Cope Imaginary Album for The Vinyl Villain

Phase One: The Teardrop Explodes

1) When I Dream (Long Version) (Kilimanjaro, 1980)

Final track on Kilimanjaro. Released as a single reaching 47 in the charts

‘I go ba ba ba ba oh oh, I go ba ba ba ba oh oh’

2) The Culture Bunker (Wilder, 1981)

‘… waiting for the Crucial Three…’

Describing the growing rift between the Teardrops, Bunnymen & Wah!

Cope’s jealousy at Mac’s success inspiring the line ‘I feel cold when it turns to gold for you’

3) Passionate Friend (Wilder, 1981)

Allegedly about Cope’s brief relationship with Ian McCulloch’s sister. The single version achieved a mighty 25 and an acid-enhanced appearance on TOTP.

‘That you could ever do that thing / And never bring yourself to sing / Bah bah bah bah bah’

Phase Two: Early Solo

4) Bandy’s First Jump (World Shut Your Mouth, 1984)

What an entrance! Originally written for the Teardrops, it announced Cope’s debut solo album in fine style. As if to say ‘I can do this without you, and I’m keeping my ba ba ba’s’.

5) Greatness & Perfection (World Shut Your Mouth, 1984)

An almost perfect second single off WSYM. Failed to break the top 50!

Phase 3: Major label Years

6) Eve’s Volcano (Saint Julian, 1987)

Cope’s sanitised ‘two-car garage band’ sound. Arguably his most successful, and certainly his most commercial period. However this, the third single from St.J, only reached 41. (Also available in ‘!Volcano Lungo!’ extended version)

7) Up-Wards At 45 Degrees (Jehovahkill, 1992)

A fan favourite from the album that Island initially refused to issue. Cope was dropped within a week of its release.

8) Try Try Try (20 Mothers, 1995)

Ok… so it’s more ‘Bom’ than ‘Ba’ but WHAT a tune!

Phase 4: The Head Heritage Years

9) Untitled (An Audience With The Cope, 2000)

A word-less, unlisted final track from a ‘souvenir CD concert programme’ available during Cope’s 2000 tour. Then curiously re-released the following year with updated artwork for his 2001 tour!

10) The Black Sheep Song (Black Sheep, 2008)

The title track from Cope’s ‘musical exploration of what it is to be an outsider in modern Western Culture’. Note authentic use of the ‘Baa’. The album also contained the epic ‘All the Blowing-Themselves-Up Motherfuckers (Will Realise the Minute They Die That They Were Suckers)’.

Bonus) C***s Can F*** Off (Live Recording, Village Underground, London 29/01/15)

Special festive version of an, as yet, unreleased potty-mouthed anti-capitalist live favourite. Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics: NSFW etc (From Youtube so not great sound!)

“…strictly rockers…”

mp3 : The Teardrop Explodes – When I Dream
mp3 : The Teardrop Explodes – The Culture Bunker
mp3 : The Teardrop Explodes – Passionate Friend
mp3 : Julian Cope – Bandy’s First Jump
mp3 : Julian Cope – Greatness & Perfection
mp3 : Julian Cope – Eve’s Volcano
mp3 : Julian Cope – Up-wards at 45 Degrees
mp3 : Julian Cope – Try, Try, Try
mp3 : Julian Cope – Untitled
mp3 : Julian Cope – The Black Sheep Song
mp3 : Julian Cope – Cunts Can Fuck Off

JC adds…

SR also fired over a 6-track Cope Covered EP which he thought might make a good accompaniment to his debut post.  I agree….

mp3 : Death Cab for Cutie – World, Shut Your Mouth
mp3 : Spoon – Upwards at 45 Degrees
mp3 : The Frank and Walters – Elegant Chaos
mp3 : The Oscillation – Head Hang Low
mp3 : Deacon Blue – Trampolene
mp3 : Bubonique – Jellypop Perky Jean




Anyone who picks up this book can’t say they weren’t warned in advance….

“One Three One is a Gnostic whodunit that pursues readers’ memories of all previous fiction into a peat bog and impales them with seven-foot long pikes'”

“A total skullfuck of a book”

“The myths and legends of Rock, rock and rocks collide on a freak-strewn highway leaving the reader feeling like a back-seat passenger suffering psychic whiplash.”

All of the above spot-on quotes can be found on the jacket of One Three One, the debut novel by Julian Cope, a genuine epic of 438 pages.  It is a work, I suspect, like very few others as it, I would surmise, put all readers through a topsy-turvy emotional and intellectual wringer for at times you will think it contains some of the best and most imaginative prose ever put to paper while there will be nights when you can hardly keep your eyes open such is the struggle to understand what the hell it’s all about and where it’s going to go next.

The novel centres around the exploits of Rock Section, a hit musician from the 80s who just also happens to be a time traveller capable of jumping back to a precious life 10,000 years ago.  So far so bizarre.

The gist of the storyline is that Rock has travelled to Sardinia from England in June 2006 in an effort to find out why it was that he and some of his mates ended up being kidnapped when they were part of the football supporters who went to the island to watch matches (and take part in acts of hooliganism) at the 1990 World Cup.   One Three One refers to the Strada Statale 131 which is the main motorway running in a north-south direction across the island, with almost all of the action taking place on the road or close by.  Crucial to the plot is the fact that the road takes you close to many hidden ancient doorways which enable Rock to jump back and forth between 2006 and 10,000 years previous.  And when he did, it more often than seemed to the complete bemusement of this reader taking the story off at huge tangents that make no sense at all.

On many occasions, One Three One reminded me of a Joycean epic….and here’s where I confess that despite at least twenty goes, I’ve yet to finish any of the books written by the much heralded Irish novelist.  They are impenetrable, unfathomable and just too difficult for my level of intellect.  And if wasn’t for the fact that I am such a fan of Julian Cope as a musician and writer, I would in all likelihood never have finished this book either.

And yet…..there were, as I mentioned earlier, sections of the book that were quite wonderful, not least the stunning puns that are littered throughout its pages.  And if nothing else, the twenty-odd pages and two chapters covering the day of the Hillsborough Disaster when 96 people died at a football match through no fault of their own are essential reading.  I was moved to tears of sadness and anger.

But overall, these plus points are not enough to say that reading One Three One was an entirely enjoyable or satisfactory experience. It was an almighty relief when I got to the end….which without giving anything away seemed a bit rushed and disjointed given all that had been described in such detail over the previous pages.

I should also mention that the book is full of references to what appear to be imaginary songs by imaginary bands, including those in which Rock Section had found fame.  But what won’t come as a surprise given it stems from the amazing brain of Julian Cope, that nothing is quite as straightforward as it seems. The following I think gives a flavour of some of the best things about the novel….

Atlantis? : Formed in 1970 by Sardinian cave anarchists around the guitar talents of fifteen-year-old boy prodigy Gennargentu, Atlantis? was a fierce Mithraic ritualistic music beating bongos and bones in the dust of long-dead humans. This commune band was inspired by the post-war theories of Sardu writer Pedru Réppu, who popularised the belief that their island had once been the Atlantis of legend.

Brits Abroad : Formed with breathtaking audacity in the ecstasy-fuelled opportunism of the Rave Era by social worker and Jungian poet Mick Goodby, Brits Abroads’ world-infamous Number One anthem ‘Last Tango in Paris’ sets off an unholy chain of events central to the plot of One Three One.

MICK GOODBY – vocals, lyrics
ROB DEAN – guitar synth
BRENT GARRETT – bass synth, squeaky dog toy
DEAN GARRETT – tenor synth, squeaky dog toy
(Later KEV NOGGINS – drums)

Dayglo Maradona : Rave band formed by Rock Section, former Low Countries vocalist and hero of One Three One, in an ephedra-fuelled homage to his favourite footballer, Argentinean striker Diego Maradona.

Mick Goodby/Exercise Club : Picking himself up from rock bottom after being kidnapped during Italia ’90 and hermiting at his mother’s thereafter right up to the millennium, poet Mick Goodby makes an accidental comeback through his Exercise Club series of solo CD releases.

Forest of Dean : Formed by former Brits Abroad synthesist Dean Garrett in response to the wretched trajectory of his life, this rinky-dink New Age combo of one released several delicately-clad 10” EPs in the years 1994-2001.

Judge Barry Hertzog : This Dutch border rebel DJ renegade uses his role as the self-proclaimed ‘First Indie Football Hooligan’ to promote a Messiah-like solo music career from atop his DAF armoured car from deep in the woods around the uplands of his beloved Drenthe.

Kit Kat Rappers :Formed under protest by Rave scenesters Gary Have-a-laugh, Stu and Yeh-Yeh, at the behest of compadré Mick Goodby, the Kit Kat Rappers’ story permeates the various plots of One Three One. The later addition into the group of posh rapper Leander Pitt-Rivers Baring-Gould, under the name Full English Breakfast, leads to a large chart hit.

Low Countries : This Liverpool Post-Punk outfit was the place where One Three One hero Rock Section cut his music business teeth, being ‘installed’ in the band as lead singer at age seventeen by their manager/svengali Arthur Tadgell.

Make Fuck : Formed in the southern Sardu foothills of Mt Línas by cave anarchists from nearby Gonnosfanadiga, this famous power trio churns out ‘cavernous crud, only its lupine howling and overdriven bass bringing the remotest clarity to this soupy anarchist testament’ (One Three One, page 114).

Neon Sardinia : These high-living darlings of the 1970s Sardinian art scene – conspicuously wealthy with their Lamborghinis and actress girlfriends – reclaimed for the island many of those ancient traditions and festivals deemed by previous generations to be too heathen and unchristian to hold onto. Ironically, it was precisely these re-enactments and reconstructions that ultimately led to the kidnapping of their synthesist Fabrizio Arra.

FABRIZIO ARRA – vocals, synthesizers
ARTURO VACA – vocals, synthesizers

Nurse With Mound : This Japanese avant-garde duo were formed in Sardinia by visionary Egg with accompaniment by multi-instrumentalist Misstra Know-It-All. Their songs range from the angry-man-screaming-at-broken-walkman-style street corner protest of ‘We Apologise For Nothing’ to the multi-layered post-Miles Davis jazz of Mixing Concrète.

EGG – vocals
MISSTRA KNOW-IT-ALL – saxophone, clarinet, turntables, guitar, tuba, samples, synthesizers, cymbal, French horn, cor Anglais, piano, sousaphone, tympani, triangle, bass drum, snare drum, piccolo drum, tapes (cassette, DAT, 15” Studer), violin, contra bass, dwarf cello, music box, telephone, Buddha box, rhythm box, banana box, tambourine, cigar box, Jack-in-the-box, quardplums

Spackhouse Tottu : Formed by Sardinian brothers José and Luis Mackenzie, this pioneering Mediterranean dance act pumped out single after seven-inch single throughout their early career, sampling Krautrock, garage rock and electro punk for their mental two-minute-hate songs. As live DJs, the pair cannibalised Klaus Schulze’s most proto-techno pieces in order to stretch out Rave music into an over-caffeinated cartoon version of the Zeitgeist.

JOSÉ MACKENZIE – turntables, vocals, samples
LUIS MACKENZIE – turntables, vocals, samples
(Later BUGS RABBIT – music director, keyboards)

Spion Kop : Formed specifically to cause a rumpus by Dutch DJ Judge Barry Hertzog with cohort Pit-Yacker MC on dual vocals, Spion Kop managed one smash hit in the form of ‘Das Boot’. Taking a clattery drum and stomping sample from Japanese ’60s beat group The Spiders, Messrs Hertzog and Pit-Yacker screeched their declaration of the Anfield Kop’s pre-eminence in unison and without restraint.

HERTZOG – vocals, samples, FX
PIT-YACKER MC – vocals

Vesuvio : Famously reclusive throughout the 1970s, this Naples-based commune band made their name from their titanic metal self-titled debut, whence came their signature tune – the side-long fifteen-minute epic ‘Pompeii’. Generally a quartet, they were often augmented – live and in the studio – by relatives and family members.

Music as described above has been released and made available within a website associated with the novel and/or on bandcamp, although many of them are now hard to track down.  It was thanks to a  T(n)VV reader who, having picked up from a previous posting that I was taking on this book, got in touch with details of the novel’s bonkers soundtrack. Indeed, I’d go as far as to describe it as a total skullfuck of a soundtrack so don’t say you haven’t been warned.

mp3 : Brits Abroad – Last Tango In Paris
mp3 : Brits Abroad – Boogie Nights/Takin’ The Rap
mp3 : Dayglo Maradona – Rock Section
mp3 : Forest of Dean – Black Forest of Dean
mp3 : Judge Barry Hertzog – The Border Rebel
mp3 : Mick Goodby – Kick
mp3 : Spackhouse Tottu – The Daemon
mp3 : Spion Kop – Das Boot

Big shout out to Keith.  Hugely appreciated.


Julian Cope
Julian Cope managed to rack up a quite incredible 16 Top 75 hits in the UK singles charts between 1983 and 1986. OK, only World Shut Your Mouth in 1986 made the Top 20, but the fact remains that just about every single he released in that period had some sort of impact sales wise, even if the majority of them only popped in on the placings for one or two weeks, sniffed around the #50 mark and then disappeared again to be quickly and quietly deleted by his record companies.

Such was the fate of today’s offering, an EP which was released in 1991, and got as high as #57.

mp3 : Julian Cope – Head
mp3 : Julian Cope – Straw Dogs
mp3 : Julian Cope – Anyway At All
mp3 : Julian Cope – Bagged Out Ken

At this point in his career, Julian went to great lengths to explain what each of his songs were about – almost I suppose to try and stop music journalists asking the same inane questions time after time after time. And while the descriptions within the sleevenotes for the EP dont come anywhere near the length or complexity of those that accopanied the LP Peggy Suicide, they are worth repeating here:-

Head : The first reverse double-entendre I’ve written, i.e. it alludes to being sexual but isn’t. The song concerns intuition and learning to trust that intuition.
“When you kill something you believe in
You can hear its cries
You’ve got your antenna
Though you think you’re no longer receiving”

Straw Dogs : A ritual death-in-the afternoon confrontation – a fall from the community into an “I’m alright Jack” scenario. Possibly the loss of some indefined belief caused the singer an immeasurable and quite ridiculous (to our modern ears) amount of grief

Anyway At All : Recorded live in November 1990 for the 6M LECTURES in Austin, Texas. It features Julian on solo cello with unknown backing. Possibly never intended for release, neverthless a small insight into the Repetition/Exhaustion Disciplines.

Bagged-Out Ken : Aha, some light relief at last. A Ken doll from Miami leaves his home and flies to England “….looking for Feeling-Groovy Barbie”. He hears the Happy Mondays and, being a U.S. college student, digs the whole loose scene.
N.B. The backing vocalists are singing the names of old ’60s Barbie outfits.

Quite barking, I’m sure you’ll agree. But quite brilliant with it is so many ways.

And the inspiration for all of the above is that I have just started reading One Three One, the debut novel published last year, and judging by the first 30-odd pages its going to be an enjoyable ride.  Wonder if Moz’s much hyped debut novel will be as thrilling?