Promoting the release of his new album, ‘Self Civil War’, released earlier this year, Julian Cope played an acoustic set containing material from both his solo and former band history, with his usual entertaining commentary inbetween songs.

He opened with ‘Soul Desert’, from his 1992 ‘Jehovahkill’ album, then moving onto his debut album and second single, ‘Greatness And Perfection Of Love’. Cope related of how, when he was nearing the end of his research for his 1998 book ‘The Modern Antiquarian’, he logged several species of psychedelic mushroom species found around Stongehenge, which he then turned into a humourous song about the ancients being high, ‘They Were On Hard Drugs’.

He also played several songs from his days as frontman of Liverpool post-punk band The Teardrop Explodes, with ‘Passionate Friend’ from their second album ‘Wilder’, later moving to keyboards to perform ‘The Great Dominions’ from the same album, featuring its constant bass drone. Cope then forwarded to his most recent solo album release, with ‘Immortal’, and then did the classic ‘Sunspots’ from second album ‘Fried’, with pedal guitar effects.

He ended his show with another Teardrops song, ‘Treason’, from their debut album, ‘Kilimanjaro’, staying onstage for his encore that ended on The Skellington Chronicles’ ‘Out Of My Mind On Dope And Speed’.

08/02/20: Julian Cope @ Barbican, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.