Boundless Talents

See who’s performing at Cumbernauld Unbound!

Books might not make you think loud and lively, but Unbound is just that — a thrilling cabaret-style event with live music, hilarious and haunting readings from authors often showing new sides to their work, and a bar. And it’s completely free to attend!

Taking place nightly at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, we’re excited to bring the same wild, wordy session to Cumbernauld this month. Popping up at the New Town Hall at 8pm on Saturday 20 May, this two-hour extravaganza is free for you to drop in and out as you wish. Find out more about the great artist and authors involved below.

David Keenan

Straight from another music-themed event in the New Town Hall, author and musician David Keenan takes to the stage to reveal some of his ‘Hallucinated Oral History’ of North Lanarkshire’s 1980s post-Punk scene. This is Memorial Device is a love-letter to a particular and peculiar time in Scotland, in turns touchingly poignant and outrageously funny. In tandem with The Flexibles (below), tonight he shares some of the madness of the period, which you might remember fondly yourself…

The Flexibles

‘Outsiders in an outsider culture’, Glasgow-based The Flexibles are Richard Youngs, his son Sorley and Scottish underground music veteran Andrew Paine. Pink Everything, their debut album released on Glasgow’s Night School Records, is a wildly imaginative concept album which paints in utopian brushstrokes, lurching between visions of apocalypse and of ecstatic rebirth, with poetic lyrics composed by Sorley, who was around seven years old at the time of recording. The band play live at Unbound, representing the spirit of DIY rock explored in David Keenan’s novel. Expect the unorthodox.

David McArthur

Since February, historian Daniel Gray has been working with Cumbernauld-based charity CACE Older People, Active Lives, gathering members’ stories of life in the town. David McArthur is a CACE group member and writer, and at Unbound he presents a selection of his work — a perfect opportunity to hear stories from a local voice.

Kirkland Ciccone

If you’ve ever come across Kirkland Ciccone before, you won’t easily have forgotten him. The punky author of young adult novels including Catalyst Book Award-winning Conjuring The Infinite, he’s ‘Cumbernauld’s most famous celebrity after Craig Ferguson and the drummer from Travis’, in his own words. At Unbound he shares two extracts from a one-man show about his life as a writer growing up in 1990s Cumbernauld. Expect concrete, Irn-Bru, and old paperback editions of Nancy Drew.

David F Ross

Born in Glasgow in 1964, novelist and designer David F Ross has lived an odd life. Expelled from school and sporadically employed as everything from an undertaker to a tennis groundsman, he is now Design Director of one of the country’s biggest, oldest firms. His latest novel, The Man Who Loved Islands, is a funny and heartfelt finale to his Disco Days trilogy, a novel of music and middle-aged madness charting the fortunes of an Ayrshire band of legendary status. Joining Unbound straight after an event with David Keenan, hear from one of the country’s finest new fiction writers.

Helen MacKinven

Born in Falkirk and now resident in North Lanarkshire, Helen MacKinven is a writer of riotously funny and honest accounts of life, love, family and friendship, whether in novels like Talk of the Toun or in her widely published short stories. Her latest book, Buy Buy Baby is a bittersweet, banter-fuelled story of motherhood set in and around Glasgow, and you can expect the same blend of humour and heartbreak in her reading at Unbound.

Panda Su

Closing the show is Book Festival favourite Panda Su. This electro-pop musician has quickly found followers beyond Scotland’s borders, with tracks featuring on French release Fete de la Musique and even in Hollywood film House At The End Of The Street. With band in tow, she’s toured Scotland, played the festival circuit and everything in between, and comes to Cumbernauld to wind up Unbound with some wonderful words and sounds.

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