3 Anne Donovan
‘lvla Da's a nutter. Radio Rental. He’d dae anything for a laugh so he Wid: went doon the shops wi a perra knickers on his heid. telt the wifie next door we'd won the lottery and were flittin tae Barbados. but that Wis daft stuff compared tae whit he's went and done noo. He's turnt intae a Buddhist.' Tadaaf Welcome to the wonderful world of Anne Donovan's first novel. Buddha Da. This opening paragraph should have won awards on its own for putting knickers. Wifie. Barbados and Buddhist in the same breath. As it is. the whole book was shortlisted for the Orange Pl’lZC for Fiction and the Whitbread First Novel Award ito be announced early January 2004i: this really has been Anne Donovan's year. Her Canongate-i)ublished story of Jimmy the painter and decorator who turns Buddhist. has not only \.'-./()ll accolades; from critics but also the love of readers. Lending her voice to her words. Donovan has gamer taken part in readings throughout 2003. sharing the stage with. among others. the mighty Alasdair Gray. a fellow Glaswegian. On one occasion in Edinburgh's Cabaret Voltaire her gentle voice rose above the l)ii//ing mic to bring to life scenes of a New Year's disco where daughter Anne Marie brings down the house with versions of Madonna hits. ‘And that was us [l)u//////]. For wan split second when ah seen the crowd heavin in fronty us ah felt like heaVin masel . . .'
Donovan's story is funny. clever. warm and reads with true. natural musicality of Glaswegian dialect and sound. She is one of the most exciting new voices to emerge onto the Scottish literature scene. She's also lovely and very modest and generally pretty damn great. (RH)
A N N F,
"ANNE DONOVAN lS OUTSTANDING" MELVYN BRAGG
2 Frankie Poullain
The Darkness have conquered all before them. proved the naysayers wrong and racked up one of the biggest albums of the year. It was a success that was totally organic. It was a real word of mouth affair: once you heard their infectious. outrageous guitar stylings you had to spread the word. From pub gigs to rocking Glastonbury and Donnington. this year has been stellar for the lads from Lox-vestoft.
Well. let's make that three lads from Lowestoft and the coolest bassist in the world: Frankie Poullain, born and bred in Milnathort. just outside Kinross. Frankie rocks the best ‘tache in the business and plays a mean bass lick. the solidity that keeps the Darkness Just the right side of parody. He gets the joke but refuses to let humour rule how they operate. The rock is real no doubt about it. 'To be a good rock'n'roll band you need to bring something new to the table.‘ explains Poullain. And they certainly did. reinVIgorating the whole genre and taking rock back to the top of the charts. Permission to Land was a startling debut in its refusal to pander to fashion or give in to the knowmg wink. lt confused and excited in equal measure with its all out bombastic assault on good times. Poullain was key to their success. Flying back from Venezuela especially on their request to provide the final lynch pin. he was the only bassist they could trust to do the work they needed. It's his commitment to the cause of rock and entertainment. the straight man to Justin Hawkins' flamboyant lycra clad gooning. Flash in the pan? Maybe. nothing screams novelty more than a Christmas single. but there is no denying it: 2003 belonged to the Darkness. (HNl
' 1 Dec 2003~8 Ja." 200.1 THE LIST 29