stand-up poet & comedian
Stand-up poet, comedian and broadcaster, armchair revolutionary and walking shortbread tin, Elvis McGonagall resides at The Graceland Caravan Park somewhere in the back of beyond where he scribbles satirical verse whilst drinking malt whisky and listening to Johnny Cash.
Two series of his sitcom “Elvis McGonagall Takes A Look On The Bright Side” have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 where he appears regularly as well as popping up occasionally on the television.
Elvis is the 2006 World Poetry Slam Champion, the compere of The Blue Suede Sporran Club and performs at literary and music festivals, comedy and cabaret clubs, pubs and dodgy dives up and down the country and abroad, including appearances at:
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Edinburgh International Book Festival
Glastonbury Festival (poet-in-residence 2007)
Glasgow, Leicester and Reading Comedy Festivals
Cheltenham Literature Festival, Celtic Connections Festival
Latitude, Womad, Port Eliot, Camp Bestival, Larmer Tree
Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, Ways With Words Festival
Aldeburgh, Ledbury, Stanza, Nottingham and Bristol Poetry Festivals
International literary festivals in Shanghai, Rotterdam and Uppsala
Arts centres from Belfast to Hong Kong via the South Bank
Village halls from deepest, darkest Dorset to the Isle of Skye
Stroud’s Prince Albert and Worth Matravers’ Square & Compass
Soho’s Colony Room, Cheltenham’s racecourse, the Cutty Sark
Libraries, kitchens, bicycle shops, yurts and a restaurant on a wee
As well as curating and hosting his own alternative cabaret/spoken word night, The Blue Suede Sporran Club, Elvis has extensive experience of MC’ing various events and venues including:
Book Slam in London and Edinburgh
Edinburgh International Book Festival, Babble On
The 100 Club in London
The Greenwich Dance Agency’s monthly cabarets
Poetry Slams and Apples & Snakes’ events throughout the UK
The Greenwich Summer Sessions outdoor concert series in 2010
(featuring The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Jools Holland, The Levellers and Seth Lakeman)
Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival
Elvis also gigs with his band The Resurrectors “an unholy marriage of radical stand-up poetry and Caledonian punkabilly rock ‘n roll”. The band’s debut album “Gie It Laldy!” was released on Bar-Ox Records in 2018. Their 4-track EP “Burstin’ Oot in Fairy Lights” was released on the same label in 2021.
In addition to his live shows Elvis runs poetry and performance workshops for adults of all ages and for older students in schools and colleges.
In 2015 Elvis made the “Hot 100” - The List magazine’s annual run-down of Scotland’s “hottest cultural contributors” - thanks to a combination of dazzling Weltschmerz, anarchic wit and his tailor, Mr Poon Kee of Hong Kong, who does a fine line in tartan dinner jackets.
A collection of his poems from 2003 to 2017 entitled “Viva Loch Lomond!” was published by Burning Eye Books in 2017. A second volume entitled “Complete & Utter Cult!” was also published by Burning Eye Books in December 2020.
A deftly witty wordsmith, sharp and subversive but not afraid to be plain daft, Elvis has been spitting his scurrilous diatribes against the powers that be since 2003. And look at the state of the world now. So that’s 19 years of futile ranting.
Elvis McGonagall is huge in North Korea. He has suffered for his poetry. Now it’s your turn.