Julian Cope is set to make a return to The Highlands on in May.

Julian Cope is a singer, poet, occultist and photographer who has enjoyed a 30-year career in the rock business and is described by his Bloomsbury book publishers as, a ‘visionary rock musician and musicologist, hip archaeologist and one-time front man of the Teardrop Explodes’.

Julian Cope - Jan 2014 pic
The singer, poet, occultist and photographer, Julian Cope.

During that time, Cope has released over 20 solo albums, countless collaborative projects, and six acclaimed books, including his autobiography Head On and the much-lauded Krautrocksampler

Cope began his career in 1977 as bass player in the short-lived Liverpool punk group The Crucial Three alongside future Echo & The Bunnymen singer Ian McCulloch, forming The Teardrop Explodes in late ’78.

The band collapsed after four years of singles, including ‘Reward’ which is still regularly aired on national radio, at the end of 1982, when Cope’s infamous love of munching LSD onstage proved too much for both his management and record companies.

An attempt to re-launch his career ended in disaster in March 1984, when Cope ignored the presence of several important media figures in his Hammersmith Palais audience and proceeded to lacerate his stomach using a broken microphone stand in a drug-induced frenzy.

A brief wilderness period ensued, during which time he and his young American wife Dorian moved back to Tamworth, the Staffordshire town of his childhood. Now remaining indoors for long periods and collecting 1950s Dinky Toys, it was during this time that Cope’s legendary Fried album was released, featuring his signature death-and-resurrection lament ‘Reynard the Fox’ and clad in a record cover that showed Cope naked save for a giant turtle shell.

In the late ‘80s Cope made his welcome return to the charts with the single ‘World Shut Your Mouth’, and attendant album Saint Julian, which was followed in the ‘90s by albums Peggy Suicide, Jehovakill and Autogeddon.

Cope then moved away from the rock’n’roll business and turned his attentions to making a detailed first-hand study of the occult, mythology and Britain’s prehistory. Throughout the mid-90s, Cope scoured the British Isles for lost stone temples of the first monument builders, incorporating three tours of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the process.

After eight years of research, these results were published in his best-selling tome The Modern Antiquarian, a full colour 484-page hardback that shocked the publishing world by selling over 50,000 copies. Five years later, Cope followed up this extraordinary achievement with an even larger sequel entitled The Megalithic European that covered mainland Europe plus many of its islands.

Cope has also performed live with American drone metal band Sunn0))), appearing as lead vocalist on their acclaimed album White One and has recorded three albums with his proto-metal power trio Brain Donor. In May 2008 his new album Black Sheep was released to tremendous acclaim, and has since formed a band of the same name, which in 2009 recorded the massive double-LP Kiss My Sweet Apocalypse. The following two albums  Psychedelic Revolution and Revolutionary’s Suicide were both well received with the latter including the epic 16-minute lament ‘The Armenian Genocide’.

In June 2014 Faber & Faber published Cope’s debut novel One Three One, which received very positive reviews. The Guardian described the book as ‘One of the most brilliant, serious, funny, life-crammed novels any reader is likely to lay their mitts on’, while The Quietus declared: “One Three One is a triumph’.

The Irish Times called the book ‘Beckett on a bender’, Bobby Gillespie described it as ‘a total skullfuck of a book’, while Stewart Lee admitted, “I read it in one sitting’. In early 2015 Cope will release a new ‘Best Of’ compilation covering the years 1999-2014 entitled Trip Advizor.

Julian Cope is set to make a return to The Highlands on Tuesday 12th May at The Ironworks Inverness. Tickets on sale from Friday the 6th of February online.


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I've always loved music and spent my late teens and early twenties playing guitar in various bands on Lewis and Aberdeen. Other than playing in some truly terrifying pubs in Aberdeen not much came of it and life became focused on family and having a 'proper' job. Inverness Gigs is an outlet for me to quell my inner frustrated musician and the caliber of local acts has even inspired me to take my own music more seriously again. Who knows, one day I might venture back on stage under the fierce scrutiny of an Inverness Gigs reviewer! You can contact Toby direct at Toby@Igi.gs