On Tour with John Cooper Clarke

Updated: Apr 13, 2019

I did a month touring with JCC himself. He's like the JC (Jesus Christ!) of performance poetry.

Punk god. Salford lad. Comedy legend.


It was an absolute privilege to spend time with him, and Johnny Green- infamous road manager of The Clash and roadie for the Sex Pistols, and the Northern and Welsh poets who tour with him- Toria Garbutt, Mike Garry and Claire Ferguson-Walker.




I'd never been on tour like a band does. Each night, you get emailed a different hotel or b 'n' b- ranging from Mrs. Miggins to OMG posh. Which is exciting. I like tents, me, so everything is a step up. JCC stops somewhere different or get chauffeured home. He's so kind. Once he gave his super-posh hotel room to me and my partner because he was heading back South to go on 8 out of 10 Cats. Johnny Green just said,' Don't go mad on the room service' in his Landan accent. We did not blitz it, swear down.


Johnny Clarke is like a goblin pixie king. He's still got this inner child and sense of fun and fragility that a lot of talented artists have. We performed to sold-out venues every night. Driving through snow in Kendal, eating beef butties in Hull, getting mobbed by fans in Wales. I have to say a huge thanks to Toria Garbutt who got me on the bill. I sincerely hope one of his other regular support poets decide to take up religion and leave a regular slot for me.




© 2023 by BLACK BARBY