See who’s performing at Irvine Unbound!
Books might not make you think loud and lively, but Unbound is just that — a thrilling cabaret-style event with live music, hilarious and haunting readings from authors often showing new sides to their work, and a bar. And it’s completely free to attend!
Taking place nightly at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, we’re excited to bring the same wild, wordy session to Irvine this month. Popping up in the bright and beautiful cafe in Portal (below) at 7.30pm on Sunday 27 August, this two-hour extravaganza is free for you to drop in and out as you wish, with authors and musicians performing in short slots. Find out more about the great artist and authors involved below.
Ian Billings and Chris White
Fresh from an appearance in our schools programme earlier in the day, the dynamic duo of Ian Billings and Chris White take to the Unbound stage ready to unleash their madcap comic energy on an older audience. Both have written for the BBC (Billings is the genius behind ChuckleVision), have travelled the world delivering stand-up shows and madcap cartoon poetry events, and both are ready to deliver a rib-bothering, rip-roaring set in Irvine.
David F Ross
Born in Glasgow in 1964, novelist, designer and ReimagiNation veteran David F Ross has lived an odd life. Expelled from school and sporadically employed as everything from an undertaker to a tennis groundsman, he is now Design Director of one of the country’s biggest, oldest architecture firms. His latest novel, The Man Who Loved Islands, is a funny and heartfelt finale to his Disco Days trilogy, a book of music and middle-aged madness charting the fortunes of an Ayrshire band of legendary status. A passionate speaker (and tweeter), David delivered a TEDx talk at the University of the West of Scotland on the power of architecture and took an active part in our ReimagiNation debate in Cumbernauld over social media. We’re thrilled to have his wisdom and wit again in Irvine.
An incredible writer, one of the country’s finest working essayists and most importantly a son of Irvine, we’re pleased to welcome Andrew O’Hagan home for ReimagiNation. Highly decorated, with numerous awards and nominations under his belt for both fiction and non-fiction writing, we can’t wait to see what he’ll deliver on home soil, fresh from hosting a debate on the past and future of the town he grew up in.
Born in Johnstone and raised on a farm near Kilbarchan, Jim Carruth has established himself as one of the country’s finest practising poets, with his first collection Killochries shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year award and the Seamus Heaney Prize. A year earlier, in 2014, he was appointed Glasgow’s Poet Laureate – a phenomenal achievement for a writer concerned with the rhythms of rural, rather than urban life, and one greatly deserved. In the seaside New Town of Irvine, he’s sure to offer a stirring, special Unbound reading.
Scotland has witnessed an eruption of spoken word talent in the last few years, with a huge spike in the number of packed-out slams and events across the country. Few have impressed more than Iona Lee. First spotted as a teenager performing at an open mic night, she went on to win the Scottish Slam Championship in only her second ever slam event last year, and remains the reigning queen of the scene. Appearances on radio, TV and even Glastonbury have followed, and at Unbound you’ll hear just why Lee has found startling success so quickly with her haunting, hilarious and heartbreaking works.
Sons of Kilmarnock Losing Ground join us with their startling sonic blend of heavy rock rhythms, folk-infused melodies and spoken word style lyrical interventions. Take a listen for yourself on the right and get ready for a dose of punk power from a genuinely exciting young Scottish outfit.
The Miraculous Vespas
Stepping straight from the pages of David F Ross’ Disco Days trilogy, The Miraculous Vespas are “the legendary early 80s indie band from Ayrshire who had a number 1 single in 1984 with ‘It’s a Miracle (Thank You)’ before self-destructing in a chaotic attempt to kidnap Boy George. Thirty years on, they have been reformed to play The Big Bang; a one-off open air Music Festival on the Ailsa Craig.” This may or may not be true, but what is definite is that at Unbound they feature Bobby Bluebell, guitarist of hit 80s Scottish band The Bluebells, and deliver jangly synth-soaked guitar pop that sounds like a meeting of Orange Juice and early New Order. Do not miss.
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