Cooper Temple Clause : London Islington Carling Academy feels good to walk among them...

Actually, they didn’t all laugh at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round. They probably just crossed the street to avoid him occasionally and, on the days when his hair was a little on the daring side, talked about that all the time instead of paying attention to the dynamic and groundbreaking things he was doing for geography.

Not to say that [a]Cooper Temple Clause[/a] are going to go down as pioneers of the understanding of the world around us (although that might have happened if they’d put ‘Panzer Attack’ out as a single). Instead, their return to London should be a lesson to mad people everywhere.

Truth is, it was a lot more fun liking [a]Cooper Temple Clause[/a] when they didn’t fit the shape of the world. As we know, it hasn’t been an overnight rise. The world proved a teasing mistress. Despite an evergrowing army of fans, they were always so strange that even when they were the country’s biggest new band, their krautpunk blend of skewed synths, concave guitars and handshakes for mullets still felt like the country’s best kept secret. And as such, they were terrific fun not because they were intrinsically fabulous in their own right, but because they exposed just how boring everyone else had allowed themselves to become.

So the funny thing about their return to London is how normal everything feels (and this, remember is a gig in a fucking shopping centre). The Coopers are now so legitimate that a song as fiercely bonkers as ‘Panzer Attack’ itself can be tossed away early on and not used as a rabid finale like before (that honour goes to ‘Let’s Kill Music’). And the best thing is that they’ve managed to do it without sacrificing a jot of their innovation. Every noise they fire off is still as geniously, giddily off its nut, it’s just that they’re better at doing it now – to the point where ‘Who Needs Enemies’ is actually moving rather than just impressive, and ‘Promises Promises’ sounds like a big fucking truck driving through a plate-glass window.

So for all that this is a tingling and full-blooded stab of primal rock action – and ace – it doesn’t feel quite as dangerous as it used to. Even Didz’ hair, actually, isn’t quite as ‘busy’ as before. The happy news, though, is that a few slops of peroxide aside, the Coopers have clambered up to the Captain’s table without compromising. It’s the world that has shifted that bit closer to their realm of the bonkers. We might never truly understand the Coopers, but it feels good to walk among them.

Dan Martin