T2. It’s good. Very good.

Just had the thrill of seeing T2 on the first day of general release, here in Leith, where Porno is set, but not a lot of the film is shot here. I don’t like multi-plexes, but 40 years ago Henry Robb’s shipyard stood right where we were sitting in comfort watching the film. It’s all part of the legacy. Not that Danny Boyle makes anything of it, in T2. This is an update of the characters, not of Leith.

So – no spoilers. Go and see it yourself. It’s worth re-reading both Trainspotting and Porno, and watching the film Trainspotting again if you haven’t done so for a while. The more familiar you are, the more you get out of T2. There are some lovely reprises, flash-backs, inversions, and twists. And it’s funny and entertaining while having its moments of honesty and sadness. The music isn’t as compelling as I was expecting, and although it is clearly set in Edinburgh I’m not so sure it’s going to be easy to string together the locations to form a tour. But somebody will be working on that.

OK, I lost my little wager. I was expecting Sick Boy to have a fantasy conversationalist along the lines of Shir Sean in Trainspotting and Alex McLeish in Porno. I was hoping Boyle would be taking the mick out lf Alex Salmond. He doesn’t. For fuller details, see the film. But I was right in the big forecast: never under-estimate Danny Boyle’s creative genius. I think this is set to be another classic, riding the title that has become a catchphrase in common parlance for all it’s worth. And the central rap: Choose this, choose that… it’s not copyright, but in all other senses it belongs to Welsh and Boyle and, well OK, McGregor as well.

And by the way, just enjoy it. There’s a lot of comedy, and even some farce. But there are some real truths in there as well. And there’s a strong story. I worried that at 2 hours it might be paunchy and flabby, in contrast to the very tight pacey punchy 90 minutes of Trainspotting. But it isn’t. The intellectualisation and contextualising will come later. It’s good. Very good.

We’re all getting excited.

Well, a very interesting time was had on the weekend of the premiere of T2. There was me taking a tour for my punters, with Radio Forth and Sky Entertainment in tow. My ideas of where to go and what to say went out of the window. See production teams? My punters contributed to the journos – vox pop for them, of course, and the guys played into it. I didn’t hear the Radio Forth output, but the Sky piece went online later in the day. They got me to say that line about there being gaps in people’s lives that were filled by heroin about five times. There’s no knowing why they chose that version, I didn’t think it was my best! I took them to the scene of “urban distress”, where Katey walks down the steps saying how 1960s planning didn’t work out. She was right on location for that – it used to be Leith’s magnificent Kirkgate, heartbeat of the town. And on Sunday they went on the orange carpet (railway orange – geddit?) and interviewed the stars. Fame by association.

Then during the premiere itself they had me live on Radio 5 Live. Terrifying! They had me lined up to be interviewed along with another guy who didn’t answer his phone and didn’t show. So it skewed the line of questioning that I was prepared for. Then the Skype connection went funny and I was cut off in my prime. Listen to it here , it’s about 13 minutes in.

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Trainspotting update – and it’s not just T2

All eyes this weekend are on Cineworld, Fountainbridge Edinburgh as T2 premieres tomorrow evening. More on that anon.

A nice piece of artwork on the wall of what used to be the Volley on Leith Walk (now the Mousetrap - go there, re-live it for yourself), where Tommy witnesses Begbie losing it at the pool table and assaulting a "specky wee gadge"

Nice, eh? Looks like Begbie, but at the games machines they have there now, not the pool table. It’s not just Danny Boyle who has to keep up. Leith is right up there too.

T2 brings the foursome of Trainspotting back together, roughly along the lines of Porno, the book sequel. The previews say it’s a regretful look back at youth from middle age. No suggestion that it takes the larger scene into account, you know, the IndyRef and Brexit. So, no mickey-take of Big Eck Salmond, as I was hoping for in my last blog. It’s personal. Which certainly tells me that in ten or fifteen years time there’ll be T3. That’s a captive generational audience Boyle has created, that likes to see itself grow older on the screen. Why not? – if there’s money in it. Not that it’s small achievement: Trainspotting had to not just capture a moment in the 90s, but also create one, such a strong one that the 90s generation can point to it, tell their children “that was me!” “I was there!” Well done, and good luck to you Danny.

Anyway, there we were, this morning, in the Mousetrap and the Docker’s Club, and other Trainspotting places in between, with Sky Entertainment and Radio Forth and some unreconstructed fans who had organised a reunion weekend in Edinburgh without realising the bit about T2. Look at Sky News tomorrow, around the half-hour for most of the day, and catch Radio Forth tomorrow afternoon for their takes on it all. And tune in to BBC Radio 5 Live around 7.30 tomorrow evening, when I am expecting to be in a studio discussion to fill in around interviews on the red carpet.

I really hope the film is good, after all this!

Blwyddyn newydd dda

OK, I’m staying with the Welsh theme – you’ll have to translate the heading yourself – although I’m back in the homeland now and I’ve had a couple of excellent tours over the Hogmanay. The level of knowledge and enthusiasm is wonderful. I’ve taken note of a couple of points made during the conversations, and I’ll be checking my drafts. Can’t afford to be even slightly wide of the mark in a published piece of work! Thank you, everyone.

There’s much discussion about T2, Boyle’s film of the sequel to which he can’t give the title of the book. It’s due out in a few weeks, maybe this month. Let’s start a hare running. In Trainspotting Sick Boy has a recurring fantasy conversation with Shir Shean Connery. Boyle picked it up and made something out of it in the film. In Porno Big Tam (as Shir Shean was known in his Edinburgh days) is replaced by Alex McLeish, then manager at Hibs FC. They go in for some macho man-management discussions, all feeding Sick Boy’s ego and giving the reader a wee smile. I’m betting Danny Boyle will give Sick Boy a fantasy interlocutor in T2, it’s a continuation element of the whole project. But it can’t be McLeish. Who then?

My guess is that Boyle will give expression to his hatred of identity politics and nationalism. Looking around Scotland, who would match Sick Boy’s gambling instincts, carelessness with facts, readiness to make wild, unsupported claims? There are a few candidates, but the king of all would be Alex Salmond. He could make Sick Boy’s efforts look like schoolboy stuff. Could be a laugh. Let’s see.