Trainspotting star Ewen Bremner takes a break from filming to launch band

He is in the midst of making a movie about one of Scotland’s best-known music moguls.
Ewen Bremner, who plays Alan McGeeEwen Bremner, who plays Alan McGee
Ewen Bremner, who plays Alan McGee

But Ewen Bremner, star of the new biopic of Creation Records founder Alan McGee has revealed plans to launch his own band during a break in filming.

The Trainspotting favourite will be taking to the stage of Leith Theatre to unveil music and songs he has written over the last couple of years, mainly in his adopted home of New York.

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Bremner and a specially-assembled band of Scottish musicians will be performing under the guise of his musical alter ego, Exitman, at the latest night staged by the Edinburgh arts collective Neu! Reekie.

Their “soul, punk and samba” set will be the first time Bremner has staged a public performance of his songs, although he has staged a few secret gigs for friends over the years in his home city.

But it is hoped the gig on July 19 will pave the way for a full album to be recorded with his bandmates.

Bremner, 47, revealed he had been writing songs since he was growing up as a teenager in the Portobello area of the city and studied music at night school in London after leaving school.

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However the actor admitted he had always been wary of performing his material in public until recently.

Speaking to the Evening News, he said: “I’ve always felt a bit squirrely and awkward about being an actor who writes and makes stuff.

“It’s been important to have something to put myself into when I am not acting, which generally involves quite a lot of energy and a lot of focus. That energy has to go somewhere. It’s a bit difficult to calibrate your life and your brain between the two extremes of filming and not filming.

“With some film projects I might be working on them for six months, but am only actually working a couple of days a week, so it’s good to be making music stuff to avoid losing the plot. I’ve been writing and recording music since I was a teenager, but over the last year or so I’ve just thought it was unacceptable to be putting my energies into if I can’t deliver it with a guitar.

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“The name of Exitman comes from the idea of a character who stands outside every bar, nightclub or cinema, a kind of symbolic figure who offers guidance or escape, depending on whether you are a saint or a sinner.

“I’ve written a collection of stuff that I now feel ready to put out. We’re now trying to work out the sound and road-test it and get it into shape before going into the studio.

The band has been sort of thrown together just to do the Neu! Reekie! event, but we will be working towards recording together.

Michael Pedersen, co-founder of Neu! Reekie!, said: “Ewen’s an artist we’ve been fervent to work with in any of his braw artistic capacities. Most folks are aware of his dazzling deftness as an actor and we’ve had the privileged of showcasing that [him as Spud] at our Trainspotting 21 night a couple of years back in Leith Theatre.

“However, presenting his musical outputs has been an ongoing conversation and ambition of ours.”

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