It's been a cultural weekend here in sunny Badsville. First of all the marvellous Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the Barrowlands Ballroom. It was one of the best gigs I've ever been to. Apart from anything else, the band seemed to be enjoying it themselves - they were on for two hours, and even ended up taking requests at the end. Sorry - I can't do a poncy gig review - just take my word for it, it was bloody brilliant. We started off at the edge of the mosh pit, but by the end of the gig we were somehow in the middle of it. I was minging when we came out. BRMC played most of the new album, plus my favourites of their earlier stuff, including this one, my all time favourite. When I go into work having been listening to that one on my ipod, my colleagues all say "Oh, no, watch out, she's been listening to those Motorcycle boys again." For anyone who's never heard BRMC before, this might give the wrong impression, but my Mum likes them (yes, dear reader, my Mum will not read my books(that's her, making a sour face at it), due to all the swearing and nastiness, but she likes dirty, sleazy rock music. She is also a big fan of The Cramps and does the psychobilly chicken strut to I Ain't Nuthin' But A Gorehound (although she does call it the 'turkey trot', but you can't have everything, I suppose).
On Saturday we went to see a great independent Scottish film called Crying With Laughter. It's about a stand up comedian called Joey Frisk who has a problem with drugs and alcohol, an ex-wife who thinks he's a waster, and a landlord who's about to evict him. Joey gets his own back on his landlord as part of his stand-up comedy routine by threatening to kill him in front of an audience. When the police turn up to arrest him the next day for GBH, Joey has no memory of the night before. To add to the mystery, Frank - one of Joey's old school friends, although Joey doesn't remember him very well - has contacted him out of the blue, and wants to arrange some sort of reunion. The film starts out lightly and gets gradually darker and more sinister. Stephen McCole, who plays the lead character, is brilliant. Crying With Laughter won a BAFTA and rightly so - if you get a chance to see it, do so.
Gleeful moment of the weekend - I went to Waterstones in Sauchiehall Street to buy some childrens' books to take to Alaska with me and while I was in there, I nipped up to the crime section for a wee browse. And look! Look! I didn't even feel slightly embarrassed grabbing my iPhone and taking this photo. Actually, it was all I could do to stop myself grabbing a passer-by and asking them to take one of my shiny, beaming, football-shaped face (that's soccer, dear American reader) next to the shelf.
And now, on to the proper news. First of all, Alexander McCall Smith reveals that he sent his first manuscript to a publisher when he was eight.
Congratulations to Craig Russell, who sells two new Glasgow thrillers to Quercus, and to Aly Monroe who has signed a contract for two new Peter Cotton books. Excellent news.
Canada.com reviews Philip Kerr's IF THE DEAD RISE NOT. And The Scotsman reviews Lin Anderson's FINAL CUT.
Christopher Brookmyre is appearing at the Ayr Festival in September.
Interviews with the lovely Ray Banks are always good fun, and this one with the charming Byker Books guys is no exception.
More on the Irvine Welsh film, The Magnificent Eleven.
The Independent on Sunday asks if you can judge a book by its cover. And, on the subject of covers, Karen over at Eurocrime remarks on the number of angels on covers these days.