I first saw Nick Cope perform in a different life, as the frontman of a band called The Candyskins. If you’re a 90s indie fan you might remember their Top 40 hit Monday Morning or Feed It, central to the soundtrack of Adam Sandler film, The Waterboy.
And although, alas, the band broke up after four albums, Nick has kept on making music, building a new following of fans over the last decade or so by writing, recording and performing songs designed for children and families.
My kids (six and three) are already keen fans of Nick’s catchy, educational and often very funny songs – and his six albums for youngsters are on rotation in our kitchen and car - and his recent live broadcasts on social media have formed welcome respite from the lockdown blues. And that’s why I was so pleased to hear that Nick and his music was going to be on the telly (the last time I saw Nick on TV was on TFI Friday!)
The reason I’m giving you all this background, is the pedigree of Nick’s musical career is pivotal to making his act stand out – he’s not just singing songs for children, he’s an accomplished singer/songwriter performer crafting great music that appeals to children and parents alike.
It’s therefore no surprise that Nick Cope’s Popcast is such a great addition to the schedules.
Each episode is based around one of Nick’s songs (the first dinosaurs, let’s give a round of applause for them!) and combines a mix of live performance, animated music video, singalong from the kids - with Nick’s trusty whippet, Norman overseeing affairs.
There’s an easy and homely charm to the show which combines the old fashioned and simple storytelling elements of Jackanory or Old Jack’s Boat with songs that once you’ve head you just can’t get out of your head.
In an age of limitless and often overwhelming choice for ways to entertain children in front of screens, this show is another example of CBeebies at its best. It’s fun, it’s inspiring and it helps children learn and ask questions about the world around them. It has the added benefit of a genuinely impressive soundtrack that moves family singalongs on from the monotony of The Wheels on the Bus to a whole new level.
Who knows what the Popcast machine will deliver next time (but with songs like The Baby's Done a Poo in Nick's discography), I imagine it will be fun…
Nick Cope's Popcast is available as a 15-episode boxset on BBC iPlayer from Friday 24 April and will air on the CBeebies channel every Saturday morning at 9.20am from Saturday 25 April