Last week I went to Litro Live, an event run by the excellent Litro magazine and hosted by the Betjeman Arms in St. Pancras International Station. Books, booze, music and, well, trains; what more could I have asked for?
Unfortunately I arrived a couple of hours late owing to the tube strike (curse those workers; it’s almost as if they don’t care about my social engagements at all). However, I was in time to catch readings from Geoff Dyer, Jake Arnott and Gemma Weekes. Gemma is also a singer and performed briefly after she’d finished reading. Her music was perfectly designed to accompany wine, and it was very lovely and relaxing indeed – probably my favourite part of the evening.Copies of works by all the authors were on sale but - as my book-hoarding tendencies have recently been reaching levels that may be indicative of some kind of serious personality disorder - I decided to be strong for once and resist the urge to buy. I did, however, take a photo of Jake Arnott’s novel, which seems like the next best thing to actually owning it. It instantly caught my eye because, as you can see, it’s very pretty and bright and I’m a magpie when comes to very pretty and bright books; I DO judge them by their covers, I’m afraid.
I also had my first experience of witnessing the DJing talents of Jamie Byng, otherwise known as the man behind the immensely successful revival of Canongate’s fortunes. This happened quite unexpectedly and was actually somewhat surreal. I was the tiniest bit tipsy and for a moment wondered if my eyes were deceiving me. However, hallucinations of prominent literary figures in incongruous circumstances have never previously been amongst the symptoms of my intoxication so I had my doubts. I headed home not long afterwards to do the Google homework I really should have done beforehand, and discovered that spotting Jamie behind the decks is not as rare an occurrence as one might imagine and that he apparently does this sort of thing quite a lot. Who knew? Not me, obviously.
Although this was the first Litro event I have been to I hope that it won’t be the last, and if you happen to be a London-dweller I would strongly recommend checking out their website for details of their monthly live shows.
Posted by Eilidh
Posted by Eilidh