Loudon Wainwright and some Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers you’ll know to play Pock

Wainwright times three: Loudon Wainwright III with Suzzy Roche and their daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche, playing Pockington next autumn

LOUDON Wainwright III, the North Carolina songwriter, folk musician, humorist and actor, will play Pocklington Arts Centre on October 3 next year.

Tickets will go on sale at 10am on Wednesday (December 11), as indeed they will for Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of authors turned musicians, making their Pock debut on May 30.

Grammy Award-winning Wainwright, 73, will be joined by Suzzy Roche and their daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche at next autumn’s gig, the smallest venue of his 2020 British tour.

They will perform their own songs, complemented by a selection by songwriters they admire, such as Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks and Baker Knight. 

Over the course of 23 albums of acerbic, wry writing, Wainwright’s songs have been covered by Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Earl Scruggs, Mose Allison, Big Star, Freakwater, Norma Waterson, [late former wife] Kate and Anna McGarrigle and son Rufus Wainwright.

Arts centre director Janet Farmer says: “Our auditorium is no stranger to welcoming music legends to the stage and Loudon Wainwright III is certainly no exception. We’ve previously welcomed his daughter Martha to Pocklington in August 2013, so we’re delighted to be featuring in Loudon’s forthcoming tour.

“This will be a very rare opportunity to see such a big name from the music world perform within the intimate surroundings of our auditorium.

“But with only a handful of UK dates lined up and Pocklington Arts Centre being the smallest venue, this is likely to sell out fast, so I would recommend you get your tickets as early as possible.”

Three Wainwright albums have been nominated for Grammy awards: 1985’s I’m Alright, 1986’s  More Love Songs and 2009’s High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project, winner of the  Best Traditional Folk Album prize in January 2010. Wainwright also has appeared in such films as The Aviator, Big Fish, Elizabethtown, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, for which he composed the score with Joe Henry.

Read the riot act: Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers could murder a good tune at Pocklington Arts Centre next May

Meanwhile, prepare for a different form of murder on the dancefloor next spring, committed by fiction supergroup Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers.

Harrogate Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival stalwarts Mark Billingham and Val McDermid, together with Chris Brookmyre, Luca Veste, Doug Johnstone and Stuart Neville, will put down their pens and pick up guitars to “happily murder” much-loved songs by The Clash, Elvis Costello, Hank Williams, The Beatles, Talking Heads, The Jam, Johnny Cash and many others “considering legal action”, apparently.

Between them, the writers have sold more than 20 million books worldwide and won every major crime-writing award. Now they swap page for stage to discover if the sword/axe is mightier than the pen after all.

So far, their set list of killer tunes has survived in tact at Glastonbury Festival, Cornbury Festival and the Edinburgh Festival. Now they must rock in Pock.

“The very concept of crime writers putting their own killer spin on well-known songs is simply brilliant, so we can’t wait to bring them to Pocklington for what promises to be a thrilling night of live music literally like no other,” says Janet Farmer.

Last month, the arts centre played host to a sold-out evening of poetry readings, questions and answers and book signings by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, when Pocklington School students were among the audience.

Tickets cost £44 for Wainwright, £23 for The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, on 01759 301547 or at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Charles Hutchinson