People’s poet John Cooper Clarke comes to Durham

One of the UK’s most recognisable performance poets is set to entertain audiences at the Gala Theatre next week.

Salford-born Dr John Cooper Clarke, known as the original ‘people’s poet’, shot to fame in the 1970s during the punk movement with his poems about everyday life and has since released a number of albums and toured the country showcasing his vast array of work.

As well as performing on the same bill as acts such as the Sex Pistols, Joy Division, Elvis Costello and New Order, the self-styled ‘bard of Salford’ was also a seminal influence on Arctic Monkeys’ bestselling 2013 album AM.

The band’s frontman Alex Turner, who discovered Clarke’s work when it featured in the GCSE English syllabus, put his poem ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ to music for the album – which was nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2013 and is one of the best-selling vinyl albums of the decade.

Clarke, who will be appearing at Durham’s Gala Theatre on Saturday, 6 May, has also starred on hit TV programmes including Would I Lie to You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News for You and 8 out of 10 Cats – and even managed to win an edition of Pointless Celebrities thanks to his knowledge of David Bowie albums.

His latest show will include a mix of classic verse as well as new material with ponderings on modern life and also features appearances from fellow poets Mike Garry and Toria Garbutt.