Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thirty-one 'records' I quite liked in 2013

Thirty-one of the albums I quite liked this year (new, and stumbled upon from the past)

I had a bit of a problem with this list, as I found that – partly due to the show – much of my time was spent listening to individual tracks rather than entire 'albums'. Which of course raises the question of whether the 'album' is a song-package relevant to today's digital age. I guess for me it always will be, as  my musical tastes were formed in the days of  12-inch vinyl, and there is a lot of eBay plastic nostalgia here. But I came very close to just working out a list of individual tracks, and who knows what will happen next year, 'if we're spared' ! 

I'm not saying these are the best albums I listened to during 2013, but as I write in December, they're the ones that stick in my mind. I know there are some very highly praised and obvious things that are not there, and that local and personal bias may come through on occasion, but well...what can I say? I have no defence.

In no special order:

Pictish Trail – Secret Soundz Vol 2
Johnny Lynch paints his masterpiece. 2013 saw the Eigg/Fife/Fence/Lost Map division taking place. You can smell the secret acrimony.Who knows what's really going on, but there's some great music floating from one archipelago and a seaboard.

Foy Vance - Joy of Nothing
Born in Bangor, NI, raised partly in Oklahoma, living in Aberfeldy. Fantastic Morrison/Miller voice, songwriting on this is superb. The Ed Sheeran/Bonnie Raitt guest spots were a bit obvious. Serious US record company muscle. Expect worldwide success in 2014 if he doesn't go hermit in Perthshire..

Joe West and the Santa Fe Revue – Blood Red Velvet
The bold Joe and his exquisite art/country ensemble from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Funny, charming, beautifully sung and played, very poignant and funny. Oh, to be in Santa Fe on a Thursday night to watch an evening of this unfold. 'Hometown Shit Beer' is beyond brilliant.

Mr Niz – The Gospel According to Mr Niz
In which top Scottish sessioneer Stuart Nisbet, with a curiously parallel background to Foy Vance (expat fundamentalist preacher's son) revisits some classic gospel tunes with tremendous heart, soul and instrumental expertise. And an unexpectedly affecting voice.

Yvonne Lyon – These Small Rebellions
Greenock based, Coatbridge-produced, really resonant songs with depth and great melodic strengths, beautifully sung.

Rotifer – The Cavalry Never Showed Up
Edgy, dark, witty and full of energy and insight. Robert Rotifer's classic Aberdeen Marine Lab echoes in my head every time I arrive in Castle Greyskull, but this tackles age, culture, politics and the history of rock'n'roll with a colloquial verve astonishing in one whose first language isn't even English. Loads of great scrapy jangle as well.

Legend – the first album (weird beach scene cover)
Legend – the second album (the 'flaming Chelsea boot' cover)
Mickey Jupp's three Legend albums (from the late 60s/early 70s) have been lovingly repackaged and the first one especially takes me back to Fairbairns in Troon in 1970, where it sat reducing in price week by week until my friend Dougie bought it. All acoustic, 'National Gas' is a superb track. Tony Visconti produced the 'flaming boot' record and it has the original, wondrous version of Dr Feelgood's Cheque Book on it.

Arcade Fire – Reflektor
My ultra-discriminating and gig-seasoned daughter got into the Barrowland show and said it was the best thing she'd ever seen. The record has its ups and downs but it's the sense of ambition and scope, not to mention sheer breathtaking power, that I love. And Bowie's cameo makes up for his terrible album.

Nic Jones - Penguin Eggs
Introduced via the superb BBC4 documentary. Loved it so much I bought a 1979 Fylde Orsino guitar. The version of The Humpback Whale on this is absolutely staggering.

Sam Cooke – Portrait of a Legend 1956-64
Got into this via Spotify and Peter Guralnick's astonishing and massive biography Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke, which is shocking, revelatory and moving. There is an unbelievable amount of sex in it. But the incredible depth and range of Cooke's abilities, from commerce to production, songwriting to performance are key. Put this record on and you won't believe he wrote all these stone-cold classics. And the sense of a developing talent cut short is tragic.

Dumb and Dumber – original movie soundtrack
The Farrelly Brothers have the 'proper' Dumb and Dumber sequel coming out in 2014 (original cast, with the sublime Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey, but what a soundtrack the first film (my favourite, most watched comedy of all time, no question) had. Pete Droge, Crash Test Dummies, Butthole Surfers, The Proclaimers for starters.

Attic Lights – Super De Luxe
Back with their soaring melodic jangle and some great songwriting. One of the session highlights of Morton Through Midnight this year.

This is Blues (Guy Stevens' Sue Records compilation)
I got this as a cut-out bargain in Troon when I was about 13 and had never heard people like Elmore James or Willie Mae 'Big Mama' Thornton, Lowell Fulsom or Homesick James. Changed my life and so a total pleasure to acquire it on vinyl. This time without the ruined front cover due to scrubbing to get the bargain price stickers off.

The Age of Atlantic (1970 Atlantic compilation)
I bought this new when it came out (99p) because I couldn't afford full-price albums at 14. I know every note, every whisper on this record. Clapton's playing on Delaney and Bonnie's Comin' Home is staggering. And then there's the Allmans, the MC5, Led Zeppelin (twice!) and Dr John. Not to mention Buffalo Springfield and Yes when they were good...

Fill Your Head With Rock: The Sound of the Seventies (1970 CBS compilation)
Not as good as its 'The Rock Machine Turns You On' predecessor, but a bargain double album full of tracks that were hugely influential on my subsequent tastes: Al Stewart, Leonard Cohen, the exquisite Driving Wheel from Tom Rush, Taj Mahal and Janis Joplin. Bought on vinyl without the ostensibly devil-worshipping Come to the Sabbath scored out with an evangelical screwdriver!

Andy Irvine and Paul Brady – album
An absolute revelation, fuelled by Brady's appearance in Shetland and an interview. Hard Station may be his Gerry-Rafferty-inspired contemporary singer-songwriter breakthrough, but listen to this and you can hear why hardline devotees of traditional Irish folk felt betrayed. His approach to the ballad Arthur Macbride is utterly breathtaking, both vocally and instrumentally.

Kid Canaveral – Now That You Are A Dancer
More from the Fence-to-Lost Map stable. I fear KC (Kid Canaveral as opposed to King Creosote) may have been slightly nudged off course by all the shenanigans. I hope not.

Captain Beefheart – Safe As Milk
Featuring the young Ryland P Cooder in 1967 and as accessible as Beefheart ever was. Disturbing as ever, though, due to those strange shifts in time signature and the (best left indecipherable) lyrics.

Lost Soul Band – the Land of Do as You Please
Gordon Grahame, Mike Scott with splenetic rage instead of mysticism and ambition. A wonderful band and a major talent who had the wrong record company at the wrong time.

Gareth Davies-Jones – Now But Not Yet
Like Yvonne Lyon, Gareth is from/hovers on the edge of the Christian music scene and both albums were produced in Coatbridge's Foundry Music Labs by Graeme Duffin and Sandy Jones. There are some lovely songs on this, though, none more so than the opener, Dawn.

Billy Bragg - Tooth and Nail
Produced by the wondrous Joe Henry, this album has a laid-back Americana feel that initially distracts from the typical political power of some songs, notably the apocalyptic There Will Be a Reckoning.. Some lovely lascivious wordplay on Handyman and the closing optimism of There Will Be a Better Day is splendid. Bastard wouldn't do an interview though.

Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
I was worried that FR had spent too much time on this and that their thunder had to an extent been stolen by fellow travellers in glottal stop territory Admiral Fallow, but no worries. All Scott Hutchison's plangent power is intact.

British Sea Power – Machineries of Joy
Why aren't this lot as big as U2? They have the electric muscle and the anthems. Is it the onstage-shrubbery? They're a stadium band hiding their light show under a bush.

Howlin' Wolf – Blues from Hell
Arrived at via Beefheart and an old TV appearance. Mighty, mighty music with enormous amounts of humour, aggression and style.

Kevin Ayers – Songs for Insane Times (Anthology)
Huge compilation that reveals one of the great English eccentric talents in all its variations. Stranger in Blue Suede's like Graham Greene filtered through Lord Snooty, Noel Coward, Chuck Berry and, well, Soft Machine.

Clifford T Ward – Home Thoughts from Abroad
Am I the only person in the whole world who rates the late Clifford? Lushly orchestrated, very English chamber pop with real emotional power. Avoid the whimsy and there's some wonderful things here.

Graham Kendrick – Footsteps on the Sea
As a member of the Key Record Club in 1972, this arrived in the post, unrequested, and at 16 I was transfixed. Christian singer-songwriter material, sung with serious sinus issues and with the legendary Gordon Giltrap on guitar, but done with a lot more than just sincerity. Proper poetry, actually, in places. I later got to know Graham and he became the titan of waved-arm worship song that he is today. But before he was hoist on his own theological petard, he was great. The acoustic sound of this on vintage vinyl is magical too.

Larry Norman – Only Visiting This Planet
Lyrically it's almost unlistenable, and hindsight/knowledge/the internet makes the late Larry's up-and-down (but very American gospel – see Sam Cooke) life seem odd and disturbing. But the sheer bonkers power of 'Six O' Clock news' and the threatening fundamentalist bombast of 'Why Don't You Look Into Jesus' crunch effectively. Hugely important figure for those of us who grew up in the extreme corners of Christianity.

Peter Nardini – Hug. Came to this and indeed getting Peter on the show through the fuss over his song 'Larkhall' which is both very old and very funny, still. I had no idea of his own family ties to the place. One of the great overlooked Scottish songwriters – better and a lot funnier than The Proclaimers and with a real cutting intelligence. His paintings are superb, and very good value for money when you compare the prices to those of other visual artists.

Tom Waits – Round Midnight: The Minneapolis Broadcast 1975.
Waits at his (apparently) sozzled piano bar peak, with all the tall tales and Nighthawks at the Diner songs. For some of us, everything from Raindogs on will be a let down. But this? This is gin alley magic.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Spirit of Shetland: Exclusive interview with the man behind the UK's most northerly distillery

Stuart Nickerson is the man behind the second attempt to establish a Shetland whisky 
distillery, at the former RAF Saxa Vord in Unst. He means business. And he has the 
experience to back up his plans. He spoke exclusively to Shetland Life Magazine about the possibility of being up and running within two years, making gin as well as whisky, and why Unst is the perfect place for a distillery.

(copyright Shetland Life Magazine 2013)

Can you tell me a bit about yourself? What are your 
credentials for setting up a distillery?

I left university back in 1979 – I did chemical
engineering – and joined a processing equipment
company, Henry Balfour in Fife. They serviced the
whisky industry, mainly buiding mash tuns and
evaporators, and as a result I visited a few distilleries –
Bunnahbhaiin, Convalmore, Rothes – and I just fell in
love with the industry. It might have helped that there
were a few drams on offer each time I went! It was

The next minute an opportunity came up to join
Bells as it was in those days, an independent company,
at Dufftown. I joined them as a chemist, theoretically,
but basically worked as a chemical engineer across
four distilleries. I took over Bladnoch (in Wigtown) and
got that back working for them. Then an opportunity
came up to become manager at Highland Park in 1984,
and that took me to Orkney for three years. Highland
Distillers then asked me to move to Glenrothes, so I
took that on until 1987, when I spent a couple of years
at Glenglassaugh. Due to the lure of some extra pennies
I joined United Distillers as project manager, looking
after all their malt distilleries. I loved that so much I was
there for 15 months! Draw your own conclusions.

In 1990 I went to work for William Grants. I
was that company for 14 years, and that probably tells
you how much I liked William Grants! So I was there,
general manager at Glenfiddich-Balvenie-Kininvie
for five years before moving down to Girvan where I became
general manager for a year. For the rest of my
time at Grants I was Distilling Director for the whole

By 2004 my kids had left home – it was mutual
decision, shall we say, that I leave Grants and that
was when I started up on my own, running my
own business, the Malt Whisky Company, initially
as a consultancy. A couple of years down the line
I was asked to look at purchasing a distillery for
some investors, and I approached Highland about
Glenglassaugh. I bought it on behalf of those investors
and then managed it for five years before it was sold to
Benriach earlier this year.

Since then I’ve been running the Malt Whisky
Company and it’s going very well – the consultancy
in particular as so many people are wanting to build
distilleries at the moment! I’ve also started trading
in casks, to a small extent. Mostly I deal with two
independent bottlers overseas.

Why consider a distillery in Shetland?

I’d only been in Shetland once, when I was asked to do
a bit of work on behalf of the previous business that
was trying to set up a distillery – that’s Blackwoods,
Caroline Whitefield. I had a look at the water source
on her behalf, had a quick look at her business plan
and I saw great potential if the business plan was done
properly. Coincidentally, I happened to hear from Frank
Strang (owner of the RAF Saxa Vord site) earlier this
year, and he was keen to the resurrect the idea. We got
together and we’ve seen an opportunity to build a wee

Why specifically Shetland?

Because it is the last
remaining part of Scotland that doesn’t have a distillery.
And it is the most northerly – it’s got a fantastic USP.
And once you get to Shetland – I’ve lived in Orkney,
I’ve lived all over the mainland – but Shetland has
something unique, definitely.

You’ll have to bring in barley, but what about natural 

The water supply is very good. Unst water – no problem
there. But it’s the people. everyone’s so interested,
and that for me is very important. There’s no point in
making a product if you don’t have the people beside
you who want to sell it. Every single resident as far as
I can see in Unst – everybody I’ve met – seems very

Will there be a tourist element to the distillery?

There won’t be a lovely big fancy visitor centre –
because we just don’t have enough visitors up there.
But there will be a tourist element, so that people
can see round. Snd we’ll try and sell things to people
as well. Another thing that attracted me is that right
next door we have Valhalla Brewery and just having
somebody with that experience next door to you is very
helpful. Plus the fact that there will be some synergies
between brewing and distilling we can build on.

Didn’t it used to be illegal to have a brewery and a 
distillery so close together?

There are lots of things that used to be against the law,
and no longer are! Illicit distilling is certainly against the
law – we won’t be doing that!

How many folk will be employed?

Initially only a couple of people. But they will have a lot
of responsibility and an incredibly varied job. I think
we’ll have lots of fun.

Will all the product be tankered south? Will it be aged or 
bottled in Shetland?

The plan is to have a warehouse and a small bottling
hall – nothing elaborate. Everything we did at
Glenglassaugh was hand bottled until we were taken
over by Benriach. We were doing over 2000 bottles a
year there – so if we could do that out of the kitchen of
an old house we can make a better bottling proposition

Have you any ideas about what the whisky you make will 
be like, what it will taste like? Will it be a peaty malt?

The plan is to have lots of character. There will be a bit
more depth than lighter lowlands, a roundness to it and
hopefully quite a bit of fruitiness. I’d like to have a lot
of sherry wood content. Many people like that and it’ll
help give it depth. Will there be peat – in my opinion
yes, there will be a bit of peat, but it might not be there
all the time. We might have two streams of contrasting
whiskies, in fact.

How much whisky will the distillery make?

Initially 30,000 litres of alcohol per year, which to be
honest is tiny – an absolute drop in the ocean!

What about branding, image, names?

We don’t have a name yet. If anybody wants to come
up with names please give us a shout! I’m leaning
towards Saxa Vord for the distillery, because, well, that’s
where it is, but the branding of the actual product –
that would be different. It could be associated with
music. I don’t see why not. Music is so much associated
with Shetland – I was at this year’s folk festival and I
found it was stunning. It was amazing to see the young
kids and what they can do with their music here, so
yes, it would be good to have some kind of association
with music.

Obviously there will be a Viking connection in there
somewhere. There’s got to be because I think that’s
what brands Shetland around the world, to be honest.

When do you expect the distillery to be up and running?

If everything had gone to plan – we were hoping to
buy a second hand distillery, mash tuns, stills and
all, a very small one – and we were up to speed with
planning permission, HMRC approvals and the like …
then we could have been up and running sometime
in April next year, 2014. However, it looks like we will
not get the second hand equipment from Sweden. We
have already started to investigate other options which
basically means installing new equipment.

We are obtaining quotes at the moment and this
will result in an inevitable delay to the project and
will make the capital cost higher. However we still
believe that the finances work and will be appealing to
investors and so we are all fully committed to it.

As we will now be installing new equipment then
the installation of a whisky distillery in Shetland is
provisionally delayed by up to two years, however
we are also looking at options that will speed up this

We are trying to push ahead, and there are things
that help us are first, the size – because it’s small the
planning permissions are much less restrictive – and
second, we don’t have to construct a building – it’s
there already.

I have to say that we’ve had great co-operation
with the council and all the other organisations we’ve
had to deal with. They’ve all been great: SEPA, SNH,
the Scottish Agricultural Colleges and Environmental
Health – everybody is very much behind it I think.
Obviously we have various regulations to comply with,
but people are trying to be helpful, and not put barriers
in the way.

The last attempt at a distillery asked people locally to 
invest in bonds which would possibly give them a 
return, and at least a case of whisky …

No, there will be no bonds like that. Our business plan
is being ratified at the moment by our accountants
and once that’s done we will be looking for some
amount of investment – but that will be from the City,
larger financiers and the like. what we will do once
the kit is in place and we’re running is offer people the
chance to buy casks of whisky for investment or for
drinking the future, once the whisky is mature. I’ve
been in this business for 30 years, and I wouldn’t want
to do anything which would harm the project or my
reputation. I’ve heard too many bad stories.

You can’t sell what you’ve distilled as Scotch Whisky until 
it’s matured in oak for three years. What will you do to 
make money from the distillery during that initial three 

As I’ve said, we plan to sell casks and warehouse them
for the purchasers. And we’ll sell brand new spirit. I’m
thinking that could be called Spirit of Shetland. When
I was at Glenglassaugh we bottled six-month-old spirit
from red wine casks and 12-month from bourbon
casks. That provided – different colours and different
flavours. It was interesting and we might look at that.
I’m also investigating the possibility of putting in a
gin still as well, and running that in parallel. And that
would be gin actually made and bottled in Shetland,
with real Shetland provenance! Cheers!

Copyright Shetland Life Magazine 2013. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Then play on: Looking back at the weekend, the Clutha tragedy, and being on air when it happened

If there was one thing I was looking forward to during the three live, three-hour Morton Through Midnight shows I present (10.00pm to 1.00am, BBC Radio Scotland, Friday through Sunday) it was playing a track called Maybe I'll Come Back Home, by a band calling themselves Fantastic Lights. An old friend was involved, emerging from a musical silence, at least in public, that had lasted almost 25 years, and we would be first to play it anywhere.
We played that track at 10.29pm. By the time the segue of it and the following song, The Rolling Stones' Fool To Cry, was over, Twitter was already flickering with aghast stories that seemed to make no sense: a helicopter had apparently crashed onto a crowded pub in Glasgow. The Clutha Vaults.

I broadcast from my home in the Shetland Islands, but my producer Ravi Sagoo and senior producer Nick Low of Demus Productions, the company that makes Morton Through Midnight for BBC Radio Scotland, were both working from the BBC's Glasgow HQ at Pacific Quay, a couple of miles along the River Clyde from the Clutha. Twitter and Facebook are crucial aspects of the show's identity, allowing listeners throughout the world to participate, argue, suggest songs and generally become involved in the whole process of broadcasting. And the vibrant Scottish music scene is heavily represented in my own and the show's social media. A band, Esperanza, had been playing at the Clutha which is one of the city's most active small music venues. Amazing, shocking iPhone pictures of absolute clarity emerged quickly. Were they too clear? Was this some kind of movie shoot, or a hoax?

We played more music (the show has a particular bias towards Scottish pop, folk and rock, new and old, but plays quality music with a middle-aged bent from all over the world) but it was difficult to concentrate on the usual comedic conversational trivia of a Friday night (one theme was home brewing). More and more pictures and shocked eye-eyewitness accounts were coming in. Nick spoke to Martin Smedley, one of a handful of journalists across BBC radio and TV who were in the building so late, on what is usually one of the week's quietest nights. He was getting the same unconfirmed information. Sky News and BBC News 24 began carrying the Tweeted pictures, but again there was absolutely no official confirmation.

We had a live news bulletin imminent at 11.00 pm and it became apparent that this was no hoax, that something truly dreadful had happened. As Martin mobilised the news team in Glasgow, I pulled the comedy home brewing tales that were coming in and kept the introductions to records short. We began referencing the incident on our own Twitter and Facebook feeds. The 11.00 bulletin ran the story at the top, cautiously and rightly prefacing everything with 'reports are coming in' but brilliantly using the first, shocked telephone interview with Jim Murphy MP.

What to do next? Facebook and Twitter were going into overdrive and it was quickly clear that this was very, very serious. But there was still no official confirmation or anything yet from BBC reporters on the ground. We had a half-hour pre-recorded interview, heavily trailed, with the legendary guitarist and singer Dave Edmunds, which would run from about 11.15pm to 11.45pm. After discussions with news, it was decided to play that out, while the news gathering operation swung fully into action, and there would be an extended bulletin at midnight. I began reTweeting and Facebooking links to confirmed BBC Breaking News reports online.

I was reeling by that time as we were all aware of the Clutha and feared we'd know some of the victims too. After the 11.00pm news I just said I was shocked (“slightly shocked...disturbed...well, more than slightly...”) . That Dave Edmunds interview seemed hours long. Always, in the back of my journalistic mind, I was wondering (a) if we should be playing music at all, (b) how much should a music presenter say during a massive breaking story like this, and (c) how much could we trust the stuff coming in on Twitter?

Before and after the package (which gave our news folk the time to get reporters to the Clutha and to organise what quickly became a massive news gathering operation) I reiterated what we knew for sure and that there would an extended news at midnight. By this time one of the clearest dichotomies between Twitter and official news reports was the nature of the helicopter. Pictures online showed clearly that it was a police aircraft, but news outlets were hesitant. Retweeting the pictures without comment seemed enough, though I found myself referring to 'the crash of a police helicopter' while trailing ahead to the news...

The midnight bulletin had eyewitness reports, BBC reporter Andrew Kerr at the scene, what official confirmation was to be had and the detailed account of the helicopter's descent by The Sun's Gordon Smart . Glasgow-based staff were now covering the story for all BBC outlets in radio, TV and online and the demands on them were enormous. Now what for us? Pull the show from midnight and hand over to rolling news reports?

News settled on an extra bulletin at 12.30. We sifted through the music running order and extracted everything potentially jarring or offensive in tone or lyrical content. We began scheduling in calmer, longer, more instrumental tracks. Otis Redding first, and trailing ahead to the 12.30am news.

By this time we'd had one or two angry texts asking why we were playing music at a time like this, but many more praising the way things were being handled. This probably represented listeners who had tuned in only to try and catch up with what was happening, and those who regularly listen to BBC Radio Scotland at that time of night.
That last hour was very difficult. It seemed right to briefly comment on the seriousness of the situation and to segue tracks together, as well as constantly trailing ahead to news, while keeping the social media feeds up to date and relaying any confirmed information we could. The delay in any official number being made available for emergency information seemed interminable. On reflection, we did the best we could in trying circumstances. 

At 1.00 am there was I think an absolute model of responsible news reporting from BBC Radio Scotland: Proper, thoughtful choice of eyewitness reports, calm reportage, the facts and the right amount of background and colour. At the very least, the fact that there was music being broadcast beforehand provided the time for that to happen.


By late Saturday afternoon, the scale of the tragedy was clear, official and political responses were in and the awful situation had stabilised enough for us to know that we would be broadcasting three hours of music that night. But what to play? And to talk about? On what was St Andrew's night?

To me, there seemed no choice: Glasgow is my home city and we should pay tribute to it, celebrate it, long for it, recognise its spirit and try and grieve with it. This had been a seven-nights-a-week live music pub, some of our regular listeners knew the place well, knew its owners and the bands who played there. Anything else would be disrespectful. But it was also St Andrew's night and the notion we'd had previously of playing lots of records by people called Andrew might still work, if toned down.

I began looking for songs about Glasgow or from Glasgow musicians. Co-incidentally, my former colleague at The Scotsman, the London-based writer Audrey Gillan, posted a link to her own Glasgow playlist on Spotify and notably the Billy Connolly song I Wish I was in Glasgow, performed by Iain Mackintosh. By the time producer Gregor Reid and I  were preparing the programme down the line between Shetland and Glasgow at 9.00pm, we had a rough running order worked out.

We started with Michael Marra's great anthem Mother Glasgow, performed by Hue and Cry. We ended three hours later with Frankie Miller singing Dougie Maclean's Caledonia. We had many responses and reactions to the tragedy from listeners. By the last hour, people were sharing stories about other St Andrew's nights they had known, and the mood was growing less sombre.

I suppose I've always seen these late night radio shows as the conversations I would have with a bunch of friends if they were all round at my house and I was in charge of the record player. Like any social gathering you respond to circumstances, talk seriously, laugh, cry, fall out and make up. Sometime you even let folk choose the occasional record themselves...

In the end, it's about community, I suppose. We talk, we listen, we love music, we play records. And music, is, of course, eternal.

Morton Through Midnight, 29th November

Morton Through Midnight, 1st December: