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Crime writers to rock it at Ullapool Book Festival 2020

By Staff Reporter

A rock band made up of top crime writers is to headline part of the Ullapool Book Festival in May.

The band, known as the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers was formed in the wake of a late-night jam session in New Orleans.

Lead singer is best-selling Fife novelist Val McDermid, who performs with fellow Scottish crime writers Chris Brookmyre and Doug Johnstone, as well as Liverpudlian author Luca Veste, Birmingham-born writer Mark Billingham and Northern Irish novelist Stuart Neville.

Crime author Val McDermid is the lead singer of a band of crime writers who will perform at this year's Ullapool Book Festival.
Crime author Val McDermid is the lead singer of a band of crime writers who will perform at this year's Ullapool Book Festival.

Their debut appearance was three years ago in a late-night cabaret show at the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Spiegeltent in Charlotte Square.

And they have since have played at literary events as far afield as Glenrothes, Aberdeen, Belfast and Reykjavik and performed before a sell-out crowd at the Aye Write festival in Glasgow’s Mitchell Library.

But a highlight was their appearance last year at the Glastonbury music festival alongside Kylie, The Cure, Liam Gallagher and Janet Jackson.

Now The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers are to appear at the Ullapool Book Festival.

The band’s set has included cover versions of classic songs like Paperback Writer by The Beatles, I Predict a Riot by the Kaiser Chiefs, Sympathy For the Devil by the Rolling Stones and The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles.

Ullapool Book Festival, which is being held between May 8-10, is sure to pack a big punch with an array of celebrated writers including Man Booker International Prize winner, Jokha Alharthi, Estonian poet and translator Eda Ahi and historian Sir Tom Devine, whose recent bestselling book on the Scottish Clearances has been acclaimed as a masterpiece.

There will be more book talk with authors Chris Dolan and Donald S. Murray.

Mr Dolan’s recent work includes an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped for Radio 4. He will be taking to the stage to discuss his forthcoming book, Everything Passes, Everything Remains.

Former secondary school teacher, Mr Murray, who is from Ness on the Isle of Lewis, will be discussing his highly commended book about the Iolaire ship disaster, As the Women Lay Dreaming.

There will also be a showing at the festival of So Close to Home, a film produced by Lewis singer Alyth McCormack as part of an exhibition on the Iolaire.

She tells the story from her perspective as a child whose grandfather was a teenager when he witnessed the tragedy first-hand from the headland near Stornoway. More than 200 people drowned, just yards from the shoreline and the safety of home.

Tickets go on sale at the end of March. More details on who is appearing at www.ullapoolbookfestival.co.uk

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