Brian Ferguson: Life for Liz Lochhead hasn't slowed a bit

As Liz Lochhead appears in Edinburgh for the Book Festival, Creative Scotland has gone a bit experimental.

Liz Lochhead attends the International Book Festival, Charlotte Square Picture: Toby Williams

Life does not seem to have slowed down much for Liz Lochhead since she headed over her Scots Makar title to Jackie Kay earlier this year.

She hot-footed it all the way from the Isle of Mull to Charlotte Square for her afternoon book festival event with broadcaster Brian Taylor after gigging with indie-pop band The Hazey Janes on the two previous evenings.

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Lochhead had returned there to be reunited with the Dundee band, with whom she recorded a new album in Tobermory last year.

The collaboration has grown out of her long friendship and regular live appearances with the singer-songwriter Michael Marra, whose son Matthew and daughter Alice are in the group.

And they were all reunited a couple of days later when Lochhead fronted the band’s performance at the book festival’s late-night cabaret event Unbound.

Fair play to Creative Scotland for booking one of the more experimental music acts in the Edinburgh International Festival line-up for its annual reception.

One might have expected 600 representatives of the city’s major cultural organisations to be capable of paying attention to the entertainment.

But black marks are surely in order for all those who proceeded to chatter through the mesmerising performance of singer-songwriter James Yorkston, sarangi player Suhail Yusuf Khan and bassist Jon Thorne.

After retreating upstairs in the Central Halls in Tollcross to escape from the rabble for much of their set, the thought occurred that another of the EIF acts in The Hub line-up, Young Fathers, are booked for the event next year to ensure no-one can talk over the music.