Musician James Yorkston publishes tour diaries
Domino Records and Faber publish Scottish singer-songwriter's book It’s Lovely to Be Here
Not content with forging a career as one of Scotland’s best loved singer-songwriters, James Yorkston has just foisted himself upon literature in a most alluring fashion.
As befits a troubadour whose talent is rivalled only by his modesty, Yorkston’s publishing debut materialised by accident. He was asked to write an article for cult-pop journal Loops, and his ensuing on-tour chronicle prompted Domino Records (in tandem with Faber) to request a full book of such charming, deadpan recollections. Hence It’s Lovely to Be Here: The Touring Diaries of a Scottish Gent.
Does Yorkston discern much difference between storytelling through his songs and storytelling on the page? ‘Yes – the songwriting has to be more efficient,’ he nods. ‘With the book I allowed myself to ramble a bit more, and for some reason I found writing the book would come easy on days when songwriting just wasn’t budging, which surprised me a little.
‘Beforehand I’d have guessed that the two tasks come from the same part of the brain,’ he muses, ‘but now I suspect that the book was a little more subconscious.’
Ever a ruthless seeker of pop truths, The List smiles politely and cuts to the chase: what sick rock filth was censored from his final edit?
‘The one story I do regret not including involved a band member in Europe,’ Yorkston reveals. ‘It involved alcohol, Scrabble, a third-floor dressing room and a tiny bathroom window.
‘But no one wants to be known as the guy who had to be rescued by the Belgian fire service after attempting to climb out of their dressing room lavatory because he was losing a Scrabble game, do they? It may affect his reputation as an accordion player, after all.’
The List would like to clarify that it did not just say ‘King Creosote’ when it coughed.
It’s Lovely to be Here – The Touring Diaries of a Scottish Gent, published by The Domino Press on Thu 3 Feb.
Royal Concert Halls, Glasgow, noon (Ian Anderson will interview Yorkston), Wed 26 Jan; Glasgow City Halls, The Recital Room, (both part of Celtic Connections ); with Marry Waterson & Oliver Knight, Old St Paul’s, Edinburgh, Fri 11 Feb