ARTYFACTS: Day 21 - DBC Pierre - true or false?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Day 21 - DBC Pierre - true or false?

DBC Pierre doesn't take these readings too seriously and slugging from a bottle of vodka along with lurid anecdotes smacked of a 'bad boy' having to tell everyone how very 'bad' he really is. However, I warmed to him as his descriptions of the writing process were lucid.

The interviewer got off to a rather nervous start, despite an introduction from the Festival Programmer explaining that he had been here 2 years ago, he introduced the writer as having last been here 4 years ago - Pierre explained that his first book hadn't been written then. After this flustered start, Pierre started to warm up. He has a low and powerful voice which, I suspect, makes everything sound much more important than it really is, but it works well when he reads.

He made much of his controversial background (he has been accused of exaggeration and fiction) with lurid stories about being brought up in Mexico on a diet of drugs and cigarettes , where everything is turned up to full volume. Although it seemed obvious he was making some of this up as he went along. His answers to the woman who asked him what he did when he got writer's block and the guy who asked him whether Balham had been an inspiration to him as a writer, were clearly tongue in cheek.

He mentioned Irvine Welsh, so I asked him what he thought of the Welsh/Palahniuk genre as well as asking why he wanted to write a 'decadent' novel. He clearly likes Welsh as a person and had been out on the razz with him and Shane MacGowan recently in Dublin. On 'decadence', he wanted to write about sex, but beyond pornography into its more disturbing long-game psychology.

Questions about questions
I've enjoyed the book sessions but the chairs often don't know how to handle questions from the floor. They need to identify those with their hands up, line them up in order - you, then you, then you - and direct the people with the mikes to the questioners. Some of the staff with the roving mikes have been hapless. Fixed mikes are also a bad idea - those in the middle of a row can't get out and it intimidates many to walk up the aisle.

3 stars

Louise Elliot Quintet
Of the lunchtime concerts I've attended, I've enjoyed jazz the most. The bright open windows still annoy me, as jazz creates an intimate atmosphere and the light pouring into the theatre has a negative effect. Nevertheless, this was another driven and spicy set including latin , blues and Ellington inspired arrangements. The highlights for me were the blistering trumpet solos from S African Claude Deppa. Nice to see Robert Wyatt down front. He was clearly enjoying himself as much as the rest of us.

4 stars


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