Julian Cope / Tom Hickox – La Belle Angele, Edinburgh – Saturday 18th February 2017
Saturday was actually the first time I’ve seen the Archdrude perform in Scotland in about 12 years, although we did manage to catch him at a rearranged York gig in the summer of 2015.
It feels very much like the same sort of show – for an hour and a half’s set there’s less songs than you might imagine but Julian more than makes up for that with some quality between song anecdotes.
There’s a decent turnover in the songs from the last time (and also indeed the between song chat) but Saturday’s real highlights were probably a couple of tunes which he didn’t play in York.
There’s a slightly unhinged version of ‘The Great Dominions’ with a three-note drone on the synth and some raw guitar whilst ‘Fear Loves This Place’ is played to great effect on just the acoustic.
A couple of songs were played off the new album – ‘Liver As Big As Hartlepool’, with a wonderful intro as to how Andrew Weatherall persuaded Julian to finish the song after he’d mentioned the title, and ‘As The Beer Flows Over Me’ which is apparently Julian’s funeral song – for his own funeral.
All in all it was a wonderfully entertaining show.
1.Autogeddon Blues 2. Double Vegetation 3. Fear Loves This Place 4. The Culture Bunker 5. Liver Big as Hartlepool 6. As The Beer Flows Over Me 7. World Shut Your Mouth 8. The Great Dominions 9. Paranormal In The West Country 10. Cromwell In Ireland 12. Cunts Can Fuck Off 13. Soul Desert 14. Pristine
15. Greatness and Perfection
Support came from Tom Hickox –a piano balladeer influenced a little by Scott Walker, I’d suggest. Although we missed his first couple of songs I did enjoy the rest of his set. He seemed to have interesting subject matter for his songs (for example one was about the lone British survivor of a Japanese prisoner of war ship) and he was personable throughout.
Finally, I can’t really let this pass without (again) mentioning the fact that La Belle Angele isn’t my favourite venue. Acknowledged, the pillars may indeed hold the roof up but they also force you to choose between a decent view and hearing the show properly, even if you’re quite close to the front – and only a small percentage of the floor space can surely claim to do both.