Nick Cope's Family Song Book

A warm and funny singalong show for kids from an ex-Britpop singer

kids review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Nick Cope
Published 08 Aug 2017

With his red and white striped top, pipe cleaner frame, and chunky black glasses, Nick Cope is the physical response to that eternal question: "Where’s Wally?" The answer is: he’s currently in Edinburgh, is calling himself Nick, and is responsible for a delightful show full of charming songs and perfectly pitched pre-school banter.

And like his picture book Doppelganger, Cope can be found amid a cast of fantastical characters, all conjured up via his trusty guitar and indie-folk sensibility.

His songs are populated with the likes of dragons called Keith, pirates with nuggets of breakfast encrusted into their beards, and furiously digging moles.

Cope was once part another semi-mythical world. In the 1990s he was in Oxford band, The Candyskins, and part of a local music scene that included Radiohead. Thankfully for the kids, he hasn’t followed Thom Yorke’s decades’ long detour into challenging noise art. Kindergarten A this is not. Rather, his jangly Britpop roots can be heard in the melodic twinkle that lives within most of his songs.

Between tunes, Cope chats to young and old with affectless ease. It is pitched perfectly for the kids. He creates a generous world where even the shiest wee one can happily offer their opinion. At one point, for example, proceedings halt while the audience and Cope have a lengthy chat about what they had for breakfast.

Mix in throwing shade on rival troubadours for toddlers, obligatory songs about poo, and asides about Brexit, and Cope delivers on title of the show. This is very much one for all the family.