Music review: Julian Cope

One of the few truly all-the-way out there eccentric rock stars of the 1980s, the former frontman of famously LSD-gobbling Liverpudlian post-punks Teardrop Explodes these days divides his time between writing about archaeology, occultism and paganism among many other subjects, and '“ when he gets the chance '“ making solo music for release through his Head Heritage organisation.

Eccentric rock star Julian Cope
Eccentric rock star Julian Cope

Oran Mor, Glasgow ****

His latest album, Drunken Songs, celebrates the virtues of alcohol and its effects. Suitably, he’d been given a bottle of Glenlivet whisky by tonight’s promoter, “the exact drink I gave up when I found out acid was only two quid a tab,” he revealed, with customary frankness.

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A career-spanning set, comprising for the first time in a long time songs by his “old group”, produced such singalong highlights as the ode to narcotics and their prevalence in cultures ancient and modern They Were All On Hard Drugs, early solo career radio hit World Shut Your Mouth and Teardrop classics including The Culture Bunker and Treason.

But Cope’s hilariously unfiltered chat was the true standout, whether he was introducing a song custom-designed to wind up sensitive Americans, charmingly titled C***s Can F**k Off, or when he spoke of being a loving but free-spirited dad to two twenty-something daughters, and the enjoyment he derives from telling them, whenever they head out to a party: “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”