My Father’s Coat

A short time ago I got a call out of the blue asking me if I’d like to appear in a short film alongside William McIlvanney – aka The Godfather of Tartan Noir. There was no way I was turning down the chance to meet the author of Laidlaw.

The final cut of Edinburgh film-maker Pete Martin’s work features the Scottish musician James Grant’s tune, My Father’s Coat, with McIlvanney playing the father, and myself, playing his son.

It’s a haunting tune – very noir – so Martin’s slickly atmospheric film, and his choice of cast, seems to fit the bill perfectly.

Shot on location in Glasgow, at the city’s Necropolis and Barras Market, there’s a real flavour of the setting for McIlvanney’s award-winning novels; if you look carefully you may even spot one or two of the characters he so deftly populates his work with.

For me, the chance to rub shoulders with a literary genius and – no pun intended – ride his coat-tails for a little while was an experience to savour. And yes, The Godfather did sign my well-thumbed copy of Laidlaw.

The film will be premiered in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, at the city’s Filmhouse Theatre on October 22, where the cast and crew will be answering questions from the audience after the screening. I’ll post details of how to get tickets on my website:

Tony Black was born in Australia and grew up in Scotland and Ireland. He is an award-winning journalist and author of the Gus Dury series of crime novels. A second series, featuring DI Rob Brennan began with Truth Lies Bleeding in January 2011. Visit his webiste at