Irvine Welsh

Writer — Edinburgh

Name 
Irvine Welsh

Describe your style in three words?
One needed: shite.

One musician who has had the most influence on you?
Bowie. Stood him up twice because I feared I'd embarrass myself as a gushing fanboy.

Another you - what job would you have done?
Tennis pro. Would loved to have been good enough to be a top player. Like boxing without having to worry about getting hit.

Which sub-cultures have had an enduring effect on you?
Punk and house were both life-changing cultural moments. They were both about saying to the controllers "f*ck off - we'll steer this ship." We've lost the spirit in this age.

Can music change things?
It changes you. You let it change everybody else. 

How important are indie venues for British music?
Essential - if you don't have anywhere to play you have no social life, no culture. 

Best Gig you have ever been to?
Roxy Music, Edinburgh, '73.

You could play in any band?
Led Zeppelin.


Irvine Welsh is best known as the author responsible for the 1993 novel Trainspotting. Later adapted for film by Danny Boyle, Trainspotting, along with its soundtrack, became the defining British film of the 1990s.

His stories often centre around his birthplace, Edinburgh, exploring the countercultures and identities of working-class Scotland, with his signature phonetic style of conveying accents and phrases, and unflinching portrayal of themes such as drug use, sex, violence and crime.

The Blade Artist, the latest book by Irvine Welsh is available now. Purchase it here.

First track you played on repeat?
'Telegram Sam' by T. Rex.

The song that defines the teenage you?
'Get It On' by T. Rex. Probably squeezed more spots to it than any other track. 

Best song to end an all nighter?
'Europe Endless' by Kraftwerk.

One record you would keep forever?
'Station to Station' by David Bowie.

A song lyric that inspires you?
"London calling to the faraway towns,
Now war is declared and battle come down,
London calling to the underworld,
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls."

'London Calling' by The Clash.

It's important to reach out. London never did though, thus Scots Indy / Brexit, etc.

A record your parents would play?
'Songs For Swingin Lovers' by Frank Sinatra.

A song you wish you had written?
'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues. Great ballad and great royalties after the festive period.

Any new songs you can’t stop listening to right now?
Play loads of them, but I can always take a record off. I have to be able to, or I’d get nothing done. I'm a bit of a fan of Novelist - Grime is the best thing that's happened in the UK since house.

Name 
Irvine Welsh

Describe your style in three words?
One needed: shite.

One musician who has had the most influence on you?
Bowie. Stood him up twice because I feared I'd embarrass myself as a gushing fanboy.

Another you - what job would you have done?
Tennis pro. Would loved to have been good enough to be a top player. Like boxing without having to worry about getting hit.

Which sub-cultures have had an enduring effect on you?
Punk and house were both life-changing cultural moments. They were both about saying to the controllers "f*ck off - we'll steer this ship." We've lost the spirit in this age.

Can music change things?
It changes you. You let it change everybody else. 

How important are indie venues for British music?
Essential - if you don't have anywhere to play you have no social life, no culture. 

Best Gig you have ever been to?
Roxy Music, Edinburgh, '73.

You could play in any band?
Led Zeppelin.


Irvine Welsh is best known as the author responsible for the 1993 novel Trainspotting. Later adapted for film by Danny Boyle, Trainspotting, along with its soundtrack, became the defining British film of the 1990s.

His stories often centre around his birthplace, Edinburgh, exploring the countercultures and identities of working-class Scotland, with his signature phonetic style of conveying accents and phrases, and unflinching portrayal of themes such as drug use, sex, violence and crime.

The Blade Artist, the latest book by Irvine Welsh is available now. Purchase it here.

First track you played on repeat?
'Telegram Sam' by T. Rex.

The song that defines the teenage you?
'Get It On' by T. Rex. Probably squeezed more spots to it than any other track. 

Best song to end an all nighter?
'Europe Endless' by Kraftwerk.

One record you would keep forever?
'Station to Station' by David Bowie.

A song lyric that inspires you?
"London calling to the faraway towns,
Now war is declared and battle come down,
London calling to the underworld,
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls."

'London Calling' by The Clash.

It's important to reach out. London never did though, thus Scots Indy / Brexit, etc.

A record your parents would play?
'Songs For Swingin Lovers' by Frank Sinatra.

A song you wish you had written?
'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues. Great ballad and great royalties after the festive period.

Any new songs you can’t stop listening to right now?
Play loads of them, but I can always take a record off. I have to be able to, or I’d get nothing done. I'm a bit of a fan of Novelist - Grime is the best thing that's happened in the UK since house.

Irvine Welsh reading an extract from 'The Blade Artist'

Trainspotting (1996) Trailer

The Acid House (1999) Trailer

Ecstacy (2011) Trailer

Filth (2013) Trailer

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