Yer gotta go with Fred

Hear John Cooper Clarke riff on Fred Perry in a bespoke new poem
By Alex James Taylor | Music | 6 December 2016

Fred Perry has tapped punk poet John Cooper Clarke to pen a bespoke poem for its Annual Traditions Christmas campaign.

Having been a key figure on the 1970s Manchester club scene and released six acclaimed albums, the Bard of Salford’s inimitable style of poetry and signature look – electrocuted Dylan barnet and circulation-strangling drainpipe jeans – has seen him become a national treasure, and even featuring on the GCSE syllabus. About his own style, Cooper Clarke explained, “I dress carefully. That’s how I would describe my style. I dress carefully, I didn’t say ‘well’!” 

This latest work sees Cooper Clarke riff on Fred Perry’s iconic polo shirt in his synonymous Salford drawl, “In shades that suit the sunshine/Yet suitable by night/Smart casual frontline/Seldom far from sight”. Whilst accompanying posters designed by Modern Construct reference the classic design of Cooper Clarke’s early gig flyers. 

And how will Cooper Clarke be celebrating Christmas round at his? “Christmas is exactly the same year in, year out at our house. We spend it at home. We eat some poor unfortunate bird, watch telly, pull crackers. You know the usual turn of events. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Exactly. 


“From the fairway to the promenade/Miami to beach to the med/Old school or avant garde/Yer gotta go with Fred.”


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