Welsh At Filthy McNasties
9th November 1999
stonking Vox and Roll at Filthy McNasties with the main "Filth" man giving
a secret reading of a prose poem written in verse (more of that later.)
Your intrepid Oilzine reporter and friend to the stars headed
out into the November night (first sign of cold in the air.) Instructed
to get there early by erstwhile DJ, screenplay writer and novelist Dean
Cavanagh, the night started strongly with Oilzine regular
Paolo Hewitt giving a fluent reading from his upcoming guide to Modernism
- Soul Stylists. Then the surprise slot of the evening unknown
and unpublished poet Ronan Walsh, a name dear readers, you'll be hearing
a lot about in years to come I'm sure, literally forced himself onto the
platform. All night he'd been wandering around peddling a kind of Brendan
Behan line about just getting off the boat from Ireland and drunk and
needy, clutching a poem in his potato-famined hands (Uh what year is this
- Ed?) and he accosted your dear Oilzine reporter by the
Do you know
No, I said.
You're in his
No I know people
who know him, that's all. Why? What do you want?
I want to read
tonight. One poem. I've just come over from Ireland and I've just got
to read this poem tonight. I'm not leaving until I do. I'm not taking
no for an answer.
All right. Let
me look at it.
I stood in the
McNasty famous latrines and read the ballad 'Fitzroria… (something) -
straight away I could hear its lyric quality, a beautifully captured musical
cadence in the rise and fall of the line.
What do you
It's good. I'll
see what I can do. I know the promoter vaguely and a couple of the other
writers. They won't mind.
Anyway to cut
a long story short I lost my mind as he read. Full of that kind of crazed
- this is the moment I've waited for all my life - energy the author took
the platform and his Fitzrovian ballad sang out and won over the 'who
the fuck's this guy?' audience. After the cheers subsided Dean Cavanagh
took the stage (actually an actor he had reading for him) and read a section
of prose around the theme of R.E.S.P.E.C.T - the language stuffed with
similes and marauding metaphors - the laughs came thick and fast. Finally
the main man himself, Mr Irvine Welsh - to you sonny - took to the stage.
He read a short piece of verse based around the idea of a very fat man
with way too many E's in him imploding on a dancefloor! Irvine read confidently
and got off quick. I spoke to him later and he explained the poem (which
was greeted enthusiastically by the crowd) as a move towards a more structured
approach. He said he wanted to collaborate more, learn from others, be
told what to do - maybe even told what to write for a while. He said too
much freedom can turn you nuts and you get self-indulgent. He then told
me which pub to meet for the Scotland England game and that was that.
and Roll is every Tuesday at Filthy McNasties, Hanwell Street, Angel,