Welsh Directs Keane Video

Welsh has made his directorial debut with a video for the Keane song “Atlantic”, which comes from their forthcoming album Under The Iron Sea.

According to Gigwise, “The three piece approached fan Welsh to direct the video despite the fact that the writer has never directed a promo before.

Tom Chaplin said of the project: “It’s a claustrophobic, foreboding song that takes you straight into the eerie world of our new album.”

“We met up with Irvine in the studio as ‘Atlantic’ was coming together. We talked and felt he was the ideal person to put our song into pictures. He in turn felt that Atlantic could prove the perfect soundscape for his directorial debut. The result is a dark artistic statement that adds a new dimension to the song.”

“We wanted everyone to have something special from the album before it comes out, something that sets people up for the mood of ‘Under The Iron Sea’, so we chose to make this a video download.””

Trainspotting Tours Get The Literary Treatment

Tim Bell has been running highly successful Trainspotting walking tours for the last few years, taking fans of the book and film on a tour around Leith, where much of the action is set. (You can read more details about Trainspotting Tours on Tim’s own site LeithWalks. On the back of that, he’s also written a great essay about the history of Leith and the impact of Trainspotting’s success on the area for the book A Sense Of Place.

Here’s a quick extract from Tim’s essay:

It is difficult now to find any excuse for those vast badly planned and badly built schemes, under the ownership of the local authority which had the task of acting as landlord thrust upon it without any clear rationale or policy. Many families, including Mr and Mrs Welsh and their son Irvine, had left a town with its centuries-old structures, institutions and middle-class, for these places that were supposed to answer the needs of a single socio-economic group. The open spaces quickly became unattractive and even unsafe with broken glass and dog shit. The planners had no intention of letting shops and pubs start a business where there was demand. That sort of thing was grouped around shopping centres. The one on Pennywell Road is typical:unattractive in appearance, unappealing to walk round and linger in, and the shopkeepers always struggle to make a living. The units were never designed for family businesses anyway – branches of chain shops are far more common. The banks are noticeable by their absence, seeing no market for themselves, leaving financial services in the hands of loan sharks. Thus is spontaneous and healthy economic life and social intercourse stifled and stilted. Inevitably a generation grew up with little knowledge of or stake in wider society. In his novel Trainspotting Irvine Welsh later depicted the toilet in the bookie’s in the shopping centre as a fantastically, grotesquely, foul place. The film of the novel dubbed it the “worst toilet in Scotland”.

You can read the full essay in A Sense Of Place: A Collection Of New Scottish Writing, published by Waverley Books.

New Irvine Welsh play: Babylon Heights

The World Premiere of Babylon Heights, a new play written by Irvine with Dean Cavanagh opens at the Exit Theatre in San Francisco on June 14. It’s the tale of the munchkin who hung himself on the set of the Wizard of Oz. Look closely at the scene with Dorothy, the Woodsman and the scarecrow heading down the yellow brick road. There he is. Swinging.

The myth and Hollywood legend surrounding the crazed munchkins endures to this day. Babylon Heights brings the Irvine Welsh style to this uproarious tale of Hollywood mayhem.

More info: www.babylonheights.com
More on Babylon Heights:
Spike | Google | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Wikipedia
Open Directory | Technorati:

Irvine Welsh Joins Orbital!

NME: Ex-Orbital star Phil Hartnoll is to team up with cult authors Chuck Palahnuik and Irvine Welsh for a performance at the forthcoming Brighton Festival.

Along with Nick Smith, the unlikely group have combined forces to form a new outfit, Longrange.

Hartnoll and Smith will be jamming improvised ideas and storylines back and forth with the writers and guest VJs to create Stories in Motion.

This one-off collaboration on takes place on May 7 at Brighton Dome’s Corn Exchange.”

More on Orbital:
Google | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Wikipedia
Open Directory | Technorati:

Welsh’s Ecstasy Movie “not Scottish enough”

The Scotsman: “The filming of Irvine Welsh’s novel Ecstasy will have to take place south of the Border after producers were told it “wasn’t Scottish enough” to be shot in Scotland.

A fierce row over funding between the filmmakers and Scottish Screen means the £6 million movie about Edinburgh’s drug scene will now be filmed on the streets of Liverpool.

In March, the producers of the film, which stars Trevor Eve, John Hannah and Kathleen McDermott, will move the entire production down south.

The move comes after they were told the project “wasn’t Scottish enough” to qualify for lottery funding.”

Trainspotting the Play: The Critical Reaction

There’s been a lot of coverage of Trainspotting’s return to the theatre: just yesterday The Times said it was a bit old hat, while The Independent had declared it “just as shocking” during a preview back in December. Characteristically it was The Scotsman that produced the best writing about the play’s revival, including a lengthy interview with Harry Gibson and analysis of the play’s legacy – plus an excellent foru star review of the play itself by Joyce Macmillan:

There are always questions, around the Trainspotting cult, about whether, by naming so much that is traditionally unnameable, Welsh doesn’t tend, at a visceral level, to validate some of the brutal attitudes, particularly towards women, that he outwardly wants to condemn. But the sheer force of the story and the language tends to overwhelm such objections.

There are moments of tremendous tragic beauty, pity and sorrow in Gibson’s new production, illuminated by a star performance from Peter Milne as Renton. And it’s good to see the capital reclaiming a story that is profoundly about Edinburgh as a symbol of our civilisation; about the dark underbelly and hidden brutality of a festival city that has traditionally seen itself as a beacon of elegance and grandeur, and the home not of darkness, but of enlightenment.

Trainspotting The Play 10 Years On: Harry Gibson Interview

10 years on from the original production, the stage version of Trainspotting is set to steam through the UK again next year. Harry Gibson wrote and directed the original adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel, and he’s doing it again this time round too. Spike has a truly brilliant interview with Gibson about what it’s like to tackle Trainspotting again – “Language is a big part of Trainspotting’s appeal. People write dissertations about it. The play has 147 cunts.”

There’s also the original 1996 interview which I did with Gibson when Trainspotting first arrived on the scene. Besides his sterling sense of humour, Gibson has a lot of intelligent stuff to say about theatre in general, why drugs are nice if you’ve learnt Latin and how to scrape an actor off the floor.

More on Trainspotting the play:
Spike | Google | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Wikipedia
Open Directory | Technorati: