Nick Cave praises John Cooper Clarke: “A brilliant, brilliant man”

"Check out John Cooper Clarke and have your faith in humanity restored"

Nick Cave has praised John Cooper Clarke in the latest entry on his Red Hand Files website, calling the performance poet and musician “a brilliant, brilliant man”.

Responding to a new set of fan questions on his regular Q&A site, Cave was asked for his thoughts on Clarke.

He answered by incorporating a separate fan question (asking if he liked haiku poetry) and a request from another who asked Cave to tell a joke (“we need a laugh”, they added).


In response to all three questions, Cave cited Clarke (“a very funny man”) and recalled “seeing him around back in the day, and I think we probably both had the same fondness for dangerous things — drugs and humour”.

“I remember standing in the audience at some little club, maybe 40 years ago, and watching John, staggered by his speed and virtuosity and mordant humour, and laughing and laughing and laughing,” he added.

John Cooper Clarke
Credit: Getty

Cave then referenced Clarke’s poem Haiku, which reads:

“To con-vey one’s mood

“In sev-en-teen syll-able-s


“Is ve-ry dif-fic”

Cave added: “So, if you’re in lockdown and feeling low and need to laugh, go online, check out John Cooper Clarke and have your faith in humanity restored.

“A brilliant, brilliant man.”

Earlier this month, Cave shared his thoughts on how to “find the right path” in life during an entry on his Red Hand Files site.