Craig Robertson looking forward to making more memories at Bute Noir 2017

Craig Robertson, author of novels including Witness the Dead and co-founder of Bute Noir.
Craig Robertson, author of novels including Witness the Dead and co-founder of Bute Noir.

With the second coming of Bute Noir almost here, the Buteman spoke to the author who co-founded the island’s own crime writing festival.

Craig Robertson collaborated with Print Point’s Karen Latto after a meeting in 2015 to put together the first Bute Noir the following year.

It was a big success with various events filling the festival’s three venues in Print Point, Rothesay Library and Rothesay Museum, and preparations for Bute Noir 2017 are well underway.

Two of the events have already sold out, and English author Louise Voss has been added to the lineup after the withdrawal of Denzil Meyrick.

Craig said: “It will be a big ask to surpass the first year of Bute Noir but we’re certainly going to try. We’ve got more authors and more events than last year but I’m hopeful we’ll also have the same sense of the audience really being part of it all. One of the very best things about the inaugural festival was the way the people of Bute engaged with it.

“I’ve many great memories of 2016, from our impromptu crime writers’ putting competition on Rothesay’s famous greens to hearing Chris Brookmyre play the theme tune to The Sweeney on the kazoo during the Saturday night quiz. Above all, I loved that so many authors loved being on Bute.

“I know all the participating writers pretty well, with the exception of Antti Tuomainen who is flying in from Helsinki in his native Finland. I’m looking forward to meeting him and also to catching up with the others.

“I’m delighted that we’ve added Louise Voss to the line-up and I know audiences are going to enjoy hearing her speak.”

Denzil Meyrick, a former police officer who wrote Whisky From Small Glasses and Well of the Winds, has withdrawn from the lineup because of illness.

One of the popular returning events is the ‘A Question of Court’ quiz on Saturday night.

Karen Latto told the Buteman: “We are having an added bonus after the quiz on the Saturday night, the Slice Girls will be performing a couple of songs with Doug Johnstone on guitar and Luca Veste on vocals/guitar at Bute Museum.

“They did it at the Bloody Scotland festival so we are going to have something similar.”

Bute Noir will go ahead from Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 6 with programmes and tickets to the events available on 01700 503389 or at Print Point, Rothesay Museum and Rothesay Library.