Aye Write! takes great pride in being known as Glasgow’s Book festival. The event brings many authors, writers, artists and poets to the city to discuss books, literature and writing. This year one standout talk features Brett Anderson, frontman of the band Suede. He has just realised his memoir Coal Black Mornings. Other than charting the rise of his seminal band, the book focusses on the author’s early life. It begins on the day he was born and concludes when Suede sign a record deal. This format in itself makes it stand out from the typical rock autobiography and suggests that the inventiveness and creativity that made Suede’s music so distinctive and appealing may have transferred to Anderson’s skills as a writer.
The event is chaired by music journalist Nicola Meighan who begins by asking the musician what inspired him to write the book and what influenced the distinguishing style and format of the memoir. Brett Anderson begins by revealing that Coal Black Mornings is about “struggle and failure” and not about the triumphs of Suede. He talks about his parents and growing up in an educated working class family. Anderson mentions that he uses the title Coal Black Mornings as a motif throughout the book to remind the reader of hardships and friction. The author goes on to mention that – “As an artist I always work best when I am striving against something.”
This strife and the passion to create is obvious when the author talks about his music and his current family life. Coal Black Mornings is very much the author capturing the essence and memory of his parents and passing this on to his children, the many fans of Suede and anyone interesting in reading about working class life in Great Britain. The event continues with questions from the audience where the topics of new music, creativity, education and the current state of the music industry are discussed. Anderson talks with authority and comes over as a musician, writer and artist that still has a lot of ground left to cover and has the passion and drive to tackle many ambitious future projects.
Aye Write! 2018 runs until the 25 March and has many more events, talks and workshops to choose from. The festival takes place at various venues across Glasgow including the Mitchell Library, CCA and Tramway.