One of the many splendid things about having a brother like Rich is his penchant for finding out random things that are doing down in ‘Hood Town’ or further afield. It was on one of these random diversions that saw us meeting up for a quick Subway (with Reggae Reggae Sauce – rock!) before hotfooting it over to Broadway Cinema…
… a favourite author of both of us, Irvine Welsh, was doing a book reading/signing as well as a Q&A session there; and it was excellent. Upon meeting Jez we took our seats and enjoyed him reading a section from his latest book Crime in very animated and entertaining style before being quizzed by a local author (whose name I regretfully have forgotten), before having questions being opened up to the great unwashed.
Having remembered thanks to one of the questions that Irvine is a big Hibs fan, Rich duly had the brainwave that Forest had signed cult legend Brian Rice from them; upon checking quickly via the wonders of the mobile internet, Rich duly had the microphone in his hand and asked him about his thoughts about our cult hero… he was pretty bemused that he still had hero status (after a fashion) in Nottingham, but remembered him as one of the better players in a struggling Hibs side.
I too grabbed the mic later and, whilst it somewhat trivialises how highly I rate both his writing, and his ideas, I asked him how he felt to have introduced such a fantastic array of Scottish slang and swear words into a wider vocabulary. He was understandably nonplussed, commenting that he was merely writing in his native tongue – and indeed, was surprised that words like ‘Radge’ are commonplace as far south as Newcastle… and in that spirit, Rich and I are now proud owners of copies of Irvine’s latest book, Crime, complete with inscribed expletives – so an ambition to have Irvine Welsh to say “Fuck off you doss cunt!” to me has been realised; albeit in a civilised manner!
After this was over, and a break, it was on to a screening of the film that perhaps was responsible for shooting him to prominence – Trainspotting. He introduced the screening and beat a hasty retreat, saying that whilst he loved it, he felt he’d seen it enough – which I guess is fair enough. I love the film, and indeed the book – however it’s not his best work, and of course a film based on your writing is never really ‘yours’ – so when he spoke of the popularisation of the multimedia behemoth that Trainspotting has become, it wasn’t surprising he felt somewhat divorced from it all.
The film was ace though, of course – it’s a very familiar one to me, and interestingly the two times I’ve watched films at Broadway recently, they’ve involved gravity defying babies (in very different settings!)… although I’ll never quite get my head around people’s impulse to clap at the end of films at times such as these; it’s just, well, a bit odd – it would maybe have been more understandable had Irvine stuck around for the screening itself, but well, who knows!
So there you go, another unrealised ambition achieved – being called a ‘doss cunt’ by Irvine Welsh, who is an absolute gent, so I doubt he would’ve done it for real had I not asked him!