June was certainly a busy month for County Armagh author Stuart Neville!
Not only did he launch his latest novel at Belfast’s No Alibis bookstore, he also played a set at the legendary Glastonbury festival with his band of fellow novelists, the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers.
The band comprises best-selling and award-winning crime and thriller authors Mark Billingham (vocals/guitar), Chris Brookmyre (vocals/guitar), Doug Johnstone (drums), Val McDermid (vocals), and Luca Veste (bass). Stuart completes the line-up on lead guitar, harmonica, and vocals. The genesis of the band was an impromptu jam session between Doug, Mark and Stuart that brought the house down at the 2016 World Mystery Convention in New Orleans. Word quickly spread, and they were offered a show at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2017.
Chris, Luca, and Val were soon recruited, and their debut performance filled the festival’s Spiegeltent to capacity. The show was such a success that the band have since been asked to play at book festivals all over Britain and Ireland, and as far away as Iceland.
The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers setlist features songs by everyone from Johnny Cash to the Clash, and from Hank Williams to Jimi Hendrix, but they all have one theme in common: crime.
Stuart said: “I’ve been a musician all my life, as well as a writer, but I never thought I’d get to play at one of the biggest music festivals in the world. To say I was excited is a massive understatement!”
The Glastonbury appearance kicks off a string of gigs through the rest of 2019.