Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Saturday night's show from Shetland, available on Mixcloud here.
Semisonic The Basement Tapes
Rolling Stones Scarlet
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings Signed Sealed Delivered
Pretenders I Don’t Want to be this Lonely
Oggy Why Hunger
Maria Muldaur Midnight at the Oasis
Lord Stornoway Don’t Worry
Gillian Welch Wouldn’t Be so Bad
Reckless Kelly I Only See You with My Eyes Closed
Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Chile
Janis Joplin Me and Bobby McGee
The Doors Changeling
Dave Edmunds I Hear You Knocking
The Monkees Me and Magdalena
Lucinda Williams When the Way Gets Dark
Soul Children Don’t Take My Kindness for Weakness
Mad Lads Make this Young Lady Mine
The Temprees Come and Get Your Love
Gladys Knight and the Pips Who is She (and what is She to You)
Valerie June Workin’ Woman Blues
REM What’s the Frequency Kenneth
Terry Allen Abandonitis
Gretchen Peters Wish I Was
Chuck Prophet Fast Kid
Porridge Radio Seven Seconds
Elvis Perkins See Monkey
Kinks Big Sky
Eels Are We alright
Lord Stornoway No Vacancies
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
A Static Caravan in Berwick Upon Tweed
In a currency crisis
It’s all I’ll need
A static caravan in Berwick On Tweed
Three miles north, I’m in Scotland again
Under an hour to Edinburgh by train
Walls to keep the Scots out - I was intrigued
The football team plays in the Scottish League
I take salt in my porridge oats
But I don’t want my benefits paid in Groats
I’m a single malt socialist, that’s a fact
But I can do without paying any more income tax
There's beaches and a harbour and a view of the sea
At least half a dozen former MSPs
Across the border
But only just
Protect my pension?
I think I must
I always wanted to see
But I’m going to buy a static caravan in Berwick on Tweed
There’s a Willerby Granada, it’s second hand
Haven welcome pets - it’s only 30 grand
I've got enough lump sum left it’s almost free
Let the Morningside flat out on AirBnB
I’ll watch Braveheart on Netflix, I’m a believer
Check my accounts in Zurich and Geneva
Eventually Berwick will be Scottish of course
I’m just part of the advance occupation force...
Across the border, but only just
Protect my benefits? I think I must
I always wanted to see Scotland freed
But for fiscal reasons
I'm going to Berwick On Tweed
Or maybe a static caravan in Alnwick
Somewhere in Northumberland. Or possibly Cumbria...
Copyright Tom Morton 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Irvine New Town, Ayrshire, 1975, and I was working that summer for Irvine Development Corporation as a playscheme leader. There was money to splurge on the new fangled notion of “community development” as the amazing new three-storey IDC houses went up and great lumps of Old Irvine were torn down. The future was bright. The future was fork-lift trucks, explosives, pulp-into-paper and the shopping centre to end all shopping centres. There was still deep mining nearby.
I was from Troon, along the coast a few miles. They scrapped and built ships there, and played a lot of golf. Barassie bred new housing. My dad commuted to Glasgow every day.
There were playschemes scattered throughout the New Town area that summer, from Dreghorn to Kilwinning. Children enrolled, and while their parents were at work or home, played games old and hippyishly new. With parachutes. The bairns were also entertained by a visiting cast of aged, retired circus performers who brought hoops, trampolines and banjos, and ranged from the delightful (Hampe and Lola, creaky tightrope walker and her husband, a juggler) to the horribly unpleasant (shouty Banjo Karl, the country and western clown). It was my job to organise these performances, guide the artistes to their community centres or patch of grass, and stop the children spitting at them, if possible.
So-called “Glasgow overspill”: the motivated from the big dirty city 23 miles away followed the promise of a seaside lifestyle in new houses and work. An influx of energy and talent and weans, to the remains of an ancient town already teeming with legends and strange rituals. Lodge Number 0. The Mother of all Masons. No wonder the place ended up throbbing, for a time, with culture, with music, with artistic life. Borderline Theatre, the Magnum Centre which provided The Smiths as well as swimming pools and ice rinks. The Eglinton Folk Club. Eddi Reader, her wee brother Frank and the Trashcan Sinatras, John Niven, Andrew O’Hagan...and Keith Martin, the inspiration for the central character Tully, in O’Hagan’s latest novel, Mayflies.
It’s an absolutely hilarious, profoundly moving, heartbreaking book about a close-knit group of friends. Andrew and his chums, those still around, are a decade younger than me. So as I read this wonderful story of a boy who burned brighter than the sun, the overwhelming power of music in memory and ambition, and friendship, I was back on the Low Green in 1975, surrounded by screaming, fighting and fulminating seven and eight year olds. Who was that child who took over Lola’s trampoline and performed daring somersaults far, far better than she ever could?
Were there Nivens and O’Hagans and Martins among that mass of boisterous boys and girls? Who knows? Maybe they were uber-cool even at that age and at home listening to rare New York Dolls imports, reading Edith Sitwell and Alexander Trocchi and thoughtfully deconstructing Findus Crispy Pancakes.
This glorious book affected me greatly. I’d be surprised if it isn’t the first novel to be shortlisted for the Booker which provides a philosophical explanation of why the pissed-in-at-a-party-pint-glass is always destined to be drunk from, copiously, later in the night.
Or was. I’m sure that sort of thing doesn’t happen with Aperol Spritzers chez O’Hagan these days.
Mayflies, by Andrew O’Hagan. Published by Faber. £14.99 in hardback. Not suitable for e-readers.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Sunday, September 06, 2020
Saturday, September 05, 2020