Instead we find the vegan Yorkston navigating the rougher districts of Limerick in the wee hours, on the lookout for a meat-free meal that will wash away the taste of Irish whiskey and fit his dietary requirements.
We follow as he wanders around a pop-art gallery in Pittsburgh, America, waiting to sing traditional folk songs on his battered old acoustic guitar to a conference room full of funk-pop fans.
He shows us the bleak views from his bleaker still hotel room in Warsaw, Poland, describes his run-in with a posh gent carrying a plucked goose in his bag, and endures a stress-fuelled sleepless night in a trans-sexual New York community, debating what to do about his lost passport.
It’s Lovely to be Here distills more than eight years worth of diary scribbles, memories and on-the-road musings into a lucid and lyrical narrative.
From the very start it lays out its stall as a humorous and candid peak behind the stage curtain, and manages to keep its momentum through five hard touring years.
Kicking off with a matter-of-fact account of Yorkston’s early career and ending with a seven-country flying tour in 2009, Yorkston’s deft balance of cynicism, wit and honesty keeps you going until the very end.
Yorkston, from East Neuk, Fife, signed to Domino Records in 2001, and has since made five albums for the London-based independent label. His last album, Folk Songs, was released in 2009.
In his early career Yorkston was associated with Fife’s Fence Collective, alongside King Creosote, The Aliens, Beta Band and Katie Tunstall.
He will perform at the following festivals this summer:
Evolution, Newcastle, 29 May; Doune the Rabbit Hole, Perthshire, 10–12 June; Eastleigh Festival of Music, 7 July; Green Man, Brecon Beacons, 20 August; End of the Road, Dorset, 2-4 September.
It’s Lovely to be Here: The Touring Diaries of a Scottish Gent, James Yorkston
Published by Domino Press