Legendary Salford poet and musician Dr John Cooper Clarke has been awarded the freedom of his home city.
With a stellar and multi-award-winning career spanning nearly four decades, and after firmly cementing his place as a true local legend within Greater Manchester culture, it was only right that the 74-year-old Salfordian be given the prestigious honour of the Freedom of the City of Salford.
Cooper Clarke has been chosen for the honour in recognition of “his contributions to the world of poetry” and for his “unwavering commitment to the arts”.
If you’re unfamiliar with his work, Cooper Clarke was born in Salford and grew up in the Higher Broughton area, where he became interested in poetry after being inspired by his English teacher, and eventually went on to become an affectionately-named ‘punk poet’ in the late 1970s.
Since then, he has toured with major musical artists throughout his career – including Sex Pistols, The Fall, Joy Division, and New Order – and has undoubtedly captivated audiences worldwide with his distinct vocal style, wit, and social commentary.
Sir Paul McCartney, Peter Hook, and Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys – who notably covered one of his most famous pieces, I Wanna Be Yours, on their 2013 album AM – are just some of the famous names Cooper Clarke is able to name as fans and admirers of his work.
Cooper Clarke was presented with the honour of the Freedom of the city of Salford during a meeting with Ceremonial Mayor of Salford, Cllr Gina Reynolds, and other members of Salford City Council yesterday (19 July) in the council chamber.
It was also attended by local councillors and officers, and of course, Cooper Clarke’s friends and family.
The legendary poet described his latest honour as “wonderful”, adding in his acceptance speech: “I’ve circumnavigated the globe 10, count em 10 times, reciting poetry all the way and coming back here to my home town of Salford is always a treat…
“But this one, wow – thank you everyone.”
Ceremonial Mayor Gina Reynolds described Cooper Clarke as “an icon not only in Salford but throughout the country”.
She added: “His remarkable literary contributions, infused with his unique Salfordian charm, have made a lasting impact on the world of poetry and beyond [and] he has inspired countless artists, musicians and writers with his incredible talent and has given a voice to the working-class spirit within his verses.
“John’s words have inspired us, challenged us and been a motivator for change.”
Cooper Clarke joins an impressive notable figures who have been honoured with Freedom of the City of Salford for their “outstanding achievements and contributions to society” – including Nelson Mandela, Harold Riley, LS Lowry, and Alan Henning.
Featured Image – Salford City Council
Avril Lavigne announces huge Manchester gig as she joins Sounds of the City 2024 lineup
The queen of pop-rock, Avril Lavigne, has been announced as the latest act on the Sounds of the City 2024 lineup.
It doesn’t how much we’ve aged, she never does and neither does her music.
Confirming her first-ever gig at Castlefield Bowl, the Canadian songstress returns to Manchester and the UK at large next summer as part of the popular week-long gig series, Sounds of the City, which is already shaping up to be a truly memorable year for the event.
A pioneer of pop-punk during its heyday and now back on top following its resurgence over the last few years, having released her seventh studio album Love Sux back in 2022 — her first new material in over three years — Avril Lavigne will be playing at the beloved outdoor venue in July.
Confirmed as part of an announcement for a pair of special summer performances, the other being at Cardiff Castle, the 39-year-old (there’s no way that we’re having she’s nearly 40) will be playing Castlefield Bowl on Wednesday, 3 July 2024.
She joins the likes of Jungle, Tom Grennan, The National and several others already announced for the festival, not to mention other non-SOTC-related concerts scheduled for the amphitheatre, like Loyle Carner, Fat Boy Slim and more.
The multi-platinum-selling noughties icon will undoubtedly be one of the biggest names to ever play the Bowl when she rocks up next summer and in addition to hearing some of her more recent tunes, you’re simply not prepared for how loud we’re about to scream ‘Complicated’ and ‘Sk8er boi’.
Better still, she’s also bringing along fellow pop-punk favourites Simple Plan along with her to both shows, so you can enjoy a real throwback vibe come July.
The very special homecoming show will be New Order‘s first full headline performance in the city since 2021.
The group are widely accepted to be one of the most influential bands of all time and this year celebrated 40 years of their hit Blue Monday.
They were founded in 1980 by vocalist and guitarist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris, who had all been together in Joy Division, which disbanded after the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis.
This year, the band announced reissued editions of their classic compilation ‘Substance 1987’, the band’s biggest-selling album to date.
They also headlined Barcelona’s Primavera Sound before they commenced their UK and European tour this autumn.
New Order will be supported by Johnny Marr, good friend of the band and legendary guitarist of The Smiths.
Marr and Sumner previously worked on synth-dance act Electronic together, and released three albums.
Johnny Marr announced a new album earlier this year – ‘Spirit Power: The Best of Johnny Marr’ will celebrate the first ten years of his solo career, featuring songs from across his four solo albums.
Fans can expect to hear Johnny’s greatest hits alongside the brand new track ‘The Answer’ as he takes to the stage at Wythenshawe Park next August.
Also supporting New Order at Wythenshawe Park will be adopted Manc Roisin Murphy, known in the 1990s as one half of pop duo Moloko.
The Irish singer and songwriter recently released her universally acclaimed sixth studio album, Hit Parade.
Presale tickets will go on sale from Monday 4 December at 10am, while general sale tickets go on sale on Tuesday 5 December at 10am, and you can grab yours here.