Monday, September 28, 2015

Preview 30 minutes of Saturday's Radio Vera Beatcroft Social two-hour show...

Now on Mixcloud. Saturday's 120-minute show starts at 7.00pm on and there will be a live chatroom in which I will be giving my tuppenyworth. Contrary to what I say in the cloudcast, the repeat on Radio Vera will be on TUESDAY nights at 7.00pm, and the show will be archived here after broadcast.

Beatcroft Social on Radio Vera Ireland - a wee preview by Tom Morton's Beatcroft Social on Mixcloud

Monday, September 21, 2015

Beatcroft Social Volume 13 - on Mixcloud (with talking) and Spotify (without).

Before the Beatcroft Social heads for a new Saturday night slot on Radio Vera Ireland, Tom Morton takes a trip from Halifax Nova Scotia through Old Scotland to Northern England and points West. A dog poem features, involving Rottweilers. And much more nattering of course. You can also find the playlist in full on Spotify here:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Beatcroft Social Volume 12 on Mixcloud (with talking) and Spotify (without)

Latest Beatcroft Social now available on Mixcloud, and featuring the Everly Brothers, Richard Hawley's new single, The Saints, the terrible obscure (but not terrible) Stewart and Kyle, Pulp, Mike Scott and New Celeste. And if you don't want to listen to me talking, you can stream the entire playlist on Spotify here.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Beatcroft Social to go out on Radio Vera Ireland from 3 October, and new monthly show on BBC Radio Orkney

Just a quick preview of what will be happening in October.

On October 3rd (Saturday night) The Beatcroft Social will go to two hours and be heard first on Limerick-based internet station Radio Vera Ireland. After broadcast it will be available on Mixcloud as usual. The show will be recorded, but I will host a live chatroom during broadcast from 19.00 until 21.00 on the Radio Vera website. Here's a link to a trail for the show.

 Then, Tuesday October 13th at 18.10, BBC Radio Orkney will broadcast a new monthly show - Tom Morton's Orcadian Dalliance. That'll be on 93.7 FM in Orkney and Shetland (and parts of Caithness)as well as via Radio Orkney's Soundcloud page (from where you can actually download the full show) Here's a link to a trail for Tom Morton's Orcadian Dalliance.

Monday, September 07, 2015

The Beatcroft Social Volume 11: Iceland to Wales via Leith and various parts of the USA. Also approximate Spotify playlist

Here's the latest Beatcroft Social show on Mixcloud, featuring The Beat, King Creosote, The Proclaimers, Steely Dan, Wilco and more. The link to an approximate Spotify version (substituting King of the Road for Get Ready by the Proclaimers and Quicksilver Messenger Service for Help Yourself) is here.

The Beatcroft Social Volume 11: Iceland to Wales via Leith and various parts of the USA by Tom Morton's Beatcroft Social on Mixcloud

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Dismaland, take two: in the daylight and inside the beast

It's a grey and blustery old Scottish day down here in the deep south west of England. Weston looks like Ayr, feels like Ayr. Hey, it's kind of Celtic. You can see Cardiff.

And Dismaland looks and feels different. The sinister, war-zone garishness has gone, and the lazy steel guitar soundtrack makes the crumbling seaside ambience feel less oppressive than it did last night. Not so sinister.

It takes a lot longer to get in, as there seem to be more people in the 'booked online' queue (and several hundred waiting on the off chance for returns) but once past the histrionic 'security'actors, everything seems more accessible. Or maybe my aged eyesight likes daylight better. I head for the three main inside galleries, and immediately Dismaland stops playing around and gets serious.

The huge Damien Hirst installation is accessible, intellectually impressive and visually appealing. Making the sinister glint and glitter is his speciality, and the (very expensive) knives here have a wicked shine and shimmer. And there are actual paintings, many very impressive and on a huge scale. I absolutely loved the photo-realist Lee Madgwick pictures and the Jimmy Cauty model world is an urban and rural dystopia in OO scale. All it lacks, and as a railroad freak I would have adored this, is a working model railway. Oh well.

The Cinderella/Diana/paparazzi installation is clever and disturbing, but the execution outruns the idea by several furlongs, so that you're ready to leave before your photo with the dead princess is ready. OK, got the notion, let's move on.

Elsewhere, some of last night's impressions are confirmed. Too much message-led conceptual art by numbers, too great a wallowing in smartass sarcasm. The scaffolding horse and the twisted mega-truck could fit in an unironic seaside attraction without difficulty. David Shrigley's knock-down-the-anvil sideshow lacked its essential balls, and too many of the other takes on fairground games were obvious and one-dimensional.

Worth going? Well, really I'm down here to see my sister, but as the major British art event of the year it was definitely worth a detour. Some of the more traditional, exhibited work is breathtaking and it's surely significant (he says, sounding like some kind of raving conservative) that the outstanding moments are the most highly evolved in terms of training and craft. The rest of you? Keep practising...

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Dismaland after dark: quick first impression

An eight-hour drive from Glasgow, complete with a 45-minute crawl nearing Birmingham on the M6, meant my 9.00pm Dismaland session tonight was always going to be a battle between art appreciation and overwhelming knackeredness.

Weston-Super-Mare itself is a cross between Largs and Ayr, with lumps of Aberdeen's Codona funfair thrown in. There is The Grand Pier, which was shut. And about 20 fish-and-chip shops, none of which were Frankie's of Brae. So I ate some Matteson's Spicy Chicken Fridge Raider Bites and was thankful. Oh, and some Oreos.

At 8.30pm, the herding had begun at Dismaland. The 'real' security guys were polite and helpful. No request for ID, despite the dire threats against ticket profiteers. The pretendy 'art installation' attendants were abusive and convincingly nasty, even throwing people out and plucking individuals from the crowd for searches. Only the obviously  vulnerable, though, which left a bad taste.

And the sour sense of a corrosive cynicism  just kept on coming, at least for me. Before I left Glasgow, number three son asked me, genuinely puzzled: "Why are you going to Dismaland? It's so...obvious." I replied that I liked the obvious when it came at you from unexpected angles, or was seen in a strange context. Which is how graffitti 'art' works.

But this. All this adolescent sneering, this monetised renegade embellishment of very simple ideas and messages, this (at its worst) dumb sloganeering...'Un-fuck the system" How? There's a weird moment when you find yourself among smiling, apparently genuine representatives of very old school political extremism from the anarchist and RCP school, all newspapers and Crass reprints. If that's a masquerade too it's not just cynical, it's a sad, terrible admission of political defeat.

Bank's own remote-control refugee boats and mediterranean naval interceptors 'game' packs an enormously emotional contemporary punch, but as you exit, inevitably through a really crap gift shop ("we're out of stock") there are youngsters signing brown paper bags and offering them for £50, possibly as a joke.

Anyway, as I say, I'm tired, it was dark. I'll go back tomorrow for another look. As I left I noticed a huddle of people crouched around a  roaring log fire. It seemed the only piece of genuine warmth in the entire ramshackle edifice. But that'll be where they burn the Jeffrey Archer books, presumably. I'm glad I didn't see that. A book is still a book. They're not for burning.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Live at Troon this Saturday 5 September and The Beatcroft Social Volume 11

I didn't think I was going to get to the Tom Morton's Homecoming Sessions gig in Troon on Saturday night due to that pesky heart business, but recovery has well and truly set in and I'll be toddling along to hear JJ Gilmour, Ashton Lane and Nicky Murray and Chloe Rodgers, at the South Beach Hotel. Full details here. 

JJ, Ashton Lane and Nicky all feature on the latest Beatcroft Social Cloudcast, volume 10, which you can listen to here:
....and there's also a Spotify playlist here.