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Liverpool's new romantic hero Julian Cope is making a welcome return to the stage. He has enjoyed a successful and varied 30-year career in the rock business as a singer, poet, occultist and photographer, and in true rebellious artist style, has had a tumultuous relationship with major record labels throughout. Cope began his musical career in 1977, when the disbandment of six-week-old trio The Crucial Three, marked the start of fruitful careers in punk for all three members, including Echo & The Bunnymen's guitarist and singer Ian McCulloch. It wasn't until the following year that Cope really came into prominence, as the singer, original bassist and primary songwriter of The Teardrop Explodes. After they disbanded in 1982, he went on to release the instantly recognisable World Shut You Mouth with Mercury Records in March 1984. Julian's 1991 album, the highly politicised Peggy Suicide, caused a rift between himself and his label, Island Records, yet was heralded by critics as his best work yet. Recorded during the anti-Margaret Thatcher poll tax riots, Cope played a prominent role throughout and was later featured on the BBC's poll tax documentary. Following Peggy Suicide, which reflected Cope's increasing interest in the occult, animal rights, paganism, and women's rights, his 1992 album, the fiercely anti-Christian Jehovahkill, proved too much for Island Records, who dropped the musician the same week that his three shows sold out at London's 1800 capacity Town & Country Club. In recent years, the ardent champion of obscure and underground music has steered away from major record labels, preferring to release and promote his own and his collaborative band's music Brain Donor. Cope continues to perform live in the UK and Europe, and having appeared at Glastonbury Festival in 2003, he has also been personally requested by Belle & Sebastian to perform at their second Bowlie Weekender festival presented by All Tomorrow's Parties in the UK in December 2010.
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