Elvis McGonagall

+ Brenda Read-Brown

Sat 2nd Feb

7.50pm – 8.50pm


Art Gallery, Contemporary Gallery



Stand-up poet, armchair revolutionary, comedian, broadcaster, recumbent rocker and walking shortbread tin, Elvis McGonagall resides at The Graceland Caravan Park somewhere in the middle of nowhere where he scribbles verse whilst drinking Scotch, listening to Johnny Cash and throwing heavy objects at his portable telly.


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 Slam Champion, the compere of the Blue Suede Sporran Club and performs at literary and music festivals, comedy clubs, pubs and dodgy dives up and down the country and abroad. He also performs with the kings of Caledonian skiffle Dead Plants as Elvis McGonagall & The Resurrectors “an unholy marriage of radical stand-up poetry and shoutin’ punky hillbilly blues”. The band’s debut album “Gie It Laldy!” has just been released on Bar-Ox Records.


In 2015 Elvis made the “Hot 100” - The List magazine’s annual run-down of Scotland’s “hottest cultural contributors”. Probably thanks to his tartan jacket.


Deftly witty 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 15 years of futile ranting.


A collection of his poems from 2003 to 2017 entitled “Viva Loch Lomond!” was published by Burning Eye Books in Spring 2017.


Elvis McGonagall has suffered for his poetry. Now it’s your turn.


“….righteous ire, directed at very deserving targets….McGonagall’s verses are shot through with a moral umbrage and rhetorical power” (Brian Logan, The Guardian)



“….funny, angry and tightly written….McGonagall combines anger, polish and carefully crafted verse in a way which recalls John Cooper Clarke….If the word ‘poetry’ is putting you off, get over it”

(Susan Mansfield, The Scotsman)


“….where Manchester has John Cooper Clarke, Dundee has Elvis McGonagall….wonderful writing, tack-sharp humour and uncompromising politics….hilarious”

(Marissa Burgess, The List)


“….a sharp and savvy political commentator who pulls no punches with searing wit, astute observation and a thrilling gift for hyperbole.

A deceptively intelligent commentary on modern life that is inclusive, accessible and utterly hilarious”

(Chloe Caprani, Ed Fest Mag)


“brilliantly anarchic, verbally agile, always a treat”

(Joan Bakewell)


“rampaging through the vicissitudes of modern life with stanzas like Panzers"  

(Phill Jupitus)


“funnier than most stand-ups, wittier than most wits Elvis resides in zeitgeist, always passionately pushing the envelope. A class act” (Hardeep Singh Kohli)


“bitingly satirical, irreverent, intelligent and laugh-out-loud funny, Elvis has deservedly earned a reputation as one of UK performance poetry's most cherished stars”

(Nathan Filer)


“the poetry of Elvis McGonagall is a world steeped in the darkest humour, peaty whisky and joy and I love it – it is the profound humanity beneath the punchlines that melts my heart”

(Salena Godden)


“I couldn’t imagine the poetry scene without Elvis McGonagall. His verse is wonderful, full of chippy invective and scorching satire. My favourite Elvis, just ahead of Costello”

(Luke Wright)


“like a mini William Wallace of Words giving the ruling political class the middle satirical finger Elvis puts the Bang into Bang Said the Gun every time he stands on our stage”

(Dan Cockrill & Martin Galton, Bang Said The Gun)


"a deep-fried ball of disillusioned bile stuffed into a tartan jacket and thrust on stage, Elvis McGonagall has us laughing through the tears as the ship sinks. Good hair, too"

(Jonny Fluffypunk)


“ebullient, intelligent and deeply amusing socio-political satire. Way too much class to be vengeful yet not nearly enough not to rhyme” (Murray Lachlan Young)


“pin-pointed satires, dynamic performances and meticulous impressions….electrifying….bitingly funny and politically astute” (Michael Horovitz)


“Elvis McGonagall does not wear specs or a monagall but he looks good and stands up well on stage.”

(John Hegley)


“McGonagalls? Deadbeat poet”

(Mr Szczypkowski, janitor and proprietor of the Promised Land Inconvenience Store at the Graceland Caravan Park)


“someone you’ve never heard of whose every stanza sounds like it was written by Les Dawson on the back of a fag packet”

(Rachel Cooke, The New Statesman)