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Murray Lachlan Young

Jonathan Schofield, a funny man, Stilton cheese and is Radcliffe harder than Maconie

Written by . Published on October 14th 2010.


Murray Lachlan Young

Murray Lachlan Young is coming to The Lowry next week . He’s a funny man. Check out this video of him performing his famous poem: ‘Simply everyone’s taking cocaine’ (click here).

Born in the US to a Scottish dad and English mother, he currently lives in Cornwall. His moment of fame with a capital F came when he became the first poet to be given a £1 million record deal when he signed to EMI in the nineties.

In his own words to Confidential, he said: “I was at College for three years in Salford in the early nineties and am now resident poet on BBC 6 music - which of course has a strong Manchester connection. Soon I’ll be guest presenter on Radcliffe and Maconie’s show which means Manchester’s going to be my second home again.”

We also asked him some other questions.

Murray Lachlan Young

Q. Describe your career since you first achieved notoriety, has it been a smooth ride or as bumpy as a bike with no tires on a cobbled road?

A. That's a tough question. I suppose the main thing is that my career led me to where I am today. I have the privilege of being one of the few people in the world who can say he makes a living from poetry. It's important not to lose sight of that fact. Like anyone else, I've had to take the rough with the smooth and, "Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin’ through."(Dylan).

Q. What have been the highlights of your career?

A. Acting opposite Gerard Depardieu and Tim Roth. Touring with Julian Cope. Being recognised, face to face, as a writer by Tom Stoppard. Hearing that Mick Jagger had given Keith Richards a CD of my poem about him and that Keith loved it. Coming back on the main stage and winning the crowd, after being bottled off in Glasgow at T in the Park. Being commissioned to write by Mark Rylance at Shakespeare's Globe. Getting a five star review for my kids show after performing to 5 kids at Edinburgh. Duetting with Jarvis Cocker at Glastonbury this year and signing a million pound record deal in a pair of Gucci clogs at EMI.

Q. You know Salford and Manchester well. Where do you go first when you come back to the city?

A. I like to walk along the canal. The water is still the same. It's a good way of reconnecting and seeing the changes to the city.

Q. With reference to your upcoming work with Radcliffe and Maconie, who do you think would win in a fight between them?

A. That's a tough one. Stuart is a Celt and would obviously be a sight to behold, with his dander up, at full cry. Mark, well, I'm sure there must be a shadow in there somewhere, possibly a dark and malevolent beast? I see a series of brutal knock out attempts. Possibly played out to the soundtrack of Destination Zulu land by King Kurt. With a Rocky 2 ending.

Q. What was your dream job when a kid, a lumberjack, chess player, footy player, spiv in a suit, what?

A. I wanted to play number 10 for Scotland at Rugby. It was my destiny. Craig Chalmers got there instead but I would have taken him, at under 11.

Q. What's your favourite poem (not by you)?

A. ‘I'm a mod’ by Jock Scott and ‘You hated Spain’ by Ted Hughes.

‘...At the back of ma hoose, I've got a rusty Lambretta.
I'm gonnae fix it up, when the weather gets better....’

Q. We feel it important that we also know what your favourite cheese is?

A. I think at the end of the day, a top Stilton, is peerless.

Q. What do you think of the Coalition government?

A. I wouldn't mind seeing a wider coalition, without the BNP. I love the image of Philip Green having a look at the books. I think it's all about the cuts. In four years time we will see who is right and who is wrong. In the mean time the working people pick up the tab. On the up side, recession usually means a good creative period for popular music.

Q. Ed Milliband? Would you like to have dinner with him?

A. I would quite like to be the waiter at a dinner between him and Tony Woodley.

Q. Briefly describe the show at the Lowry, what can people expect?

A. It's going to be a great night. Poems, songs and conversation. It's about everything from beards to dogging, from P Diddy to fluffers and beyond. It's thought provoking, wicked, silly and very funny. It's slick and has a touch of rock n roll. I'll be airing some of the new work from my 6 music residency and some from my time on Radio 4 Saturday live. I suppose it falls into the category of stand up poetry. It's a great show and you won’t see anything else like it.

Confident lad ain’t he? Click here for work Young recommends. You can catch Murray Lachlan Young at the Lowry on Sunday 24 October. Tickets are £12.

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