Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Wren


I will awaken the world 
With slivers of sweetness
I am King of the Dawn
Spring’s desolation shivers
Into life for me
My song
Makes bullying bonxies 
Tumble from the sky, 
Dogs stumble
Cats cry tears of rage and terror
And flee my might
Dull clouds are pierced
By pure light

Razors of sound

See me, tiny, unafraid
Louder than bombs
Stronger than the sea
Everything lost
Is found in me
For a moment
I master everything
Hear me sing

I am King

Tom Morton, May 2017, Hillswick, Shetland

(This poem is about The Shetland Wren (Troglodytes Troglodytes Zetlandcus), but I think the picture is of the Falklands subspecies and the song is North American...)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The (Other) Keir Hardie Tea-Towel

Keir Hardie
was dapper
His nickname was 'Papa'
He took PE and games
His illustrious name
Was his  grandad's
It cut no ice with the lads
Of Marr College
Our political knowledge
Was zero
An old Labour hero
Meant nothing in Troon
We preferred Gordon Broon
(Not the politician
The rugby tactician
Always full of good cheer
And possibly some beer
But that was back in the day
When Scotland could play)

Today, I saw something foul
A Keir Hardie tea towel
Highly absorbent
Signed by Jeremy Corbyn
£100, it's on offer
To replenish Labour's coffers
And briefly I wondered
If someone had blundered
And my old schoolmaster
In a PR disaster
Was now drying plates
With a screen print of his face

Which would have been quite a story
Because I suspect 

Papa was a Tory...

Saturday, April 08, 2017

A Wee Political Domestic

It seems nobody loves me
But you and the SNP
I know you’re quite particular
But I’m not sure about Nicola
Our relationship was full of promise
But in her e-mails she calls me ‘Thomas’
She never uses ‘Tom’ or ‘Tommy’
She's always wanting money from me
Her or that Peter Murrell
I'm not inclined to quarrel
But they don’t seem to remember
It’s six months since I was a member

At least you know how to say my name
And married life is pretty much the same
I cook your breakfast, lunch and tea
Although politically we disagree
About the basics of independence
We both hate the binary nature of referendums
(Although some say the plural’s ‘referenda’)
I detest everything about Eastenders
You never miss a single show
But there’s one thing we both know
One unifying truth we’ve been absorbed in
Neither of us can abide Jeremy Corbyn

That romantic, 1970s pseudo-Marxist
That deluded, arrogant  narcissist 
Who’ll destroy the Labour Party, given time
I don’t know why you’ve not resigned
But where would you go then?
You ask how I can defend
The posturing hypocrisy
Of the governing SNP
Navigating a road to ruin
When there’s so much they could be doing?

Truth is, I'm no starry-eyed student
And I wouldn't.
As for  the Greens and the Lib Dems
No-one gives two Tweets about them
And their fantasies of power and glory
Don’t even mention the Tories
Who - some of my best friends fear -
Could be in power for the next 15 years
Even in a free, but utterly defiled
Caledonia, turned stern, once mild

Oh, it’s a crisis, all right; but let’s not make it a domestic drama
We both like Homes under the Hammer
And though, largely, I favour secession
We need to wait for a proper recession 
When London house prices start falling
And the Trotskyist Hampsteaders start calling
Estate agents in Wick
Saying: 'Buy me a shooting lodge, quick'
And Dion Dublin's advice
Is that Thurso is nice

I know, I know. It's a fantasy
Fuelled by daytime TV
So let's not argue, please
Have some more toast and cheese
Crowdie for me, and  Cheddar for you
Camembert or Rauchkässe would do
Cambozolo, Weisslager, 
Queso Cabrales or Limburger
Manchego, Roquefort, or Mimolette

At least Brexit hasn't happened yet

Friday, March 31, 2017

Seven pretty good grub-orientated joints in Aberdeen, from cheap to exorbitant

The Inversnecky Café 

An institution. On the beach, rocking a Jersey Shore boardwalk (only concrete) vibe, complete with adjacent somewhat grubby fairground and seagulls. Or as I would say, shows. Ideal off-the-boat breakfast, great parking, stern, buffeting beachwalks available. Good coffee, and everything you could ask for in a fry-up. Also pioneered the daft blackboard notice and has great ice cream for the one or two days a year when it's sunny. Actually, that's a cheap shot: Aberdeen is one of the sunniest places in Scotland. And speaking of cheap, the Inversnecky ain't dear. No website! How cool is that?

The Silver Darling

Wonderful quayside setting, with a light, airy cruiseliner dining room which becomes beautifully atmospheric at night. You can watch the ships coming and going while eating very good, very ornate, very expensive dishes, with a leaning towards the city’s excellent seafood. Can be a bit intimidating, perhaps because you're wondering if your Black Amex still works. Be prepared for  £55-£80 a head at night, including wine. Lunch around half that. Only for serious expense accounts, freebies and Big Nights Out. In 30 years of travelling through and staying in Aberdeen, I’ve been there once.

 The Moonfish Café

My top Aberdeen choice. Superb, tiny room, small, mostly seafoody menu but with meat and vegetarian options. Not cheap, but not in same price bracket as The Silver Darling - £40-55 a head including wine at night for three courses and their always excellent cheeseboard, lunch half that or less. But you can eat more abstemiously for less moolah, and because it’s a cheerfully informal joint, without any worries that the staff are being sniffy about your cheapskatedness. Book well in advance. Not a place for intimate conversation - hard surfaces means people with headphone-induced tinnitus can struggle. Still brilliant, though.

Rye and Soda

Hmm...I really like this place, but I have a feeling I’m a bit too elderly to fit in at certain times of the evening, when the cocktails are flowing and that weird Aberdeen combination of hipster beards and diamante glam is a-waggling and a-glinting. For a meaty brunch, though - and it markets itself as ‘an American brunch café by day’, it is unsurpassed (see Food Story below for veggie options). Huevos Rancheros, all the classics of hangover-alleviating breakfast, the astonishingly evil pizza chips, and really good coffee including a decent Aeropress. Great, informed, friendly service, too.


Brewdog-owned these days, Musa offers some great opportunities to pair mainstream and obscure, Brewdog-curated (as well as brewed) beers (tasting measures offered) with high quality Scottish food.  The grub is perhaps just a touch fussier in presentation than it needs to be and not especially cheap. But then, this is Aberdeen, even in an oil price downturn kinda situation. They have live music, often jazz, and changing art exhibitions in what is an unusual and not entirely comfortable space which can get very hot and busy, particularly if there are performers squashed in front of the wine racks. Dinner Around £30-45 for three courses including drinks. Can wind up more expensive than you think it's gonna be. They do a two-course lunch special for £16 excluding booze.

Food Story

I’ve heard rumours of bacon sandwiches being available, but think of this as essentially a vegetarian café and you won’t go far wrong. I’d say it was preposterously post-hippydom-dungaree-trendy if  it weren’t for the blingy Prosecco-quaffing shift that tends to drift in during the evening. No licence, reasonable corkage, so you can bring in your crate from Oddbins and get bubbly at speed, then nip out for replenishments.
Great falafels, chillis and lasagnes, wonderful salads, and probably the best sourdough bread available to eat on-site in Aberdeen. For me it’s somewhere for lunch, late (relatively healthy) breakfast and mid-morning ab-dabs, as the cakes are truly superb. So is the coffee and (if you’re into it) their range of space cadet teas. Hilarious toilets. And very reasonable prices, with nobody making you eat too much. Good atmosphere, gets very, very busy. 

6 Degrees North 

Naughtily opening just down from Brewdog, only for the uber-brewers to open another branch almost alongside, 6 Degrees ( distance north of Brussels; they’re Belgian beer fans) is an offshoot of parent brewpub in Stonehaven and has a phenomenal selection of obscurely drinkable stuff. It is also a really good place for a semi-liquid lunch or early tea, with their sharing charcuterie platters a treat and also a total bargain. Not for teetotallers or Proseccotisti/a.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Shetland Truck culture

Once this addiction starts
I cannot stop
I need an Ifor Williams top
Though never will a sheep or dog,
Woman or child 
Scratch my tailgate

I hate the thought 
Of grubby paws, or bags of Tesco shopping
Scarring the luscious Mitsubishi sheen.
I've been there. I had a HiLux once,
A crew cab, with roll-bar, shotgun rack
Springsteen, Steve Earle and Daniel O'Donnel tracks
Red tins of beer

It ended in tears:
A wife, a collie, trips sooth to IKEA
Talk of baby seats and daft ideas
Concerning Citröens, Peugeots, or worse
A Vauxhall Zafira
I did not hear her
For I was gone, long gone
Working offshore in Venezuala 
My relationship a failure

But I saved sufficient cash
For a Barbarian, with leather seats
The sound so sweet
Of its diesel engine in my ears
Crankshaft and gasket failure fears
Assuaged (That was in the early L200 years)

And so I drive from North Roe down to Sumburgh
And back, in only clement weather
I'll wash her with the finest chamois leather
And in the heated garage
Stroke her gently

She's better than a Bentley
Or Nissan, or Toyota
Not one iota of regret
Do I feel
This love is real
I count my blessings and my luck
In finding you, my one true pick-up truck
My L200
My precious! Do not fear

I'll never over-rev you in third gear

(And, when launching a boat into the sea,
I promise not to reverse you down 
Door-deep, until your footwells are awash
With salty water
Which, long ago, I did.
Warned many times, I just refused to listen
However, that truck was leased, and besides
It was a Nissan)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dog Psychology For Beginners: poem

One dog stumbles, blind, towards the smell of toast
One dog creeps upstairs, into our vacant bed
And pretends to be asleep, while waiting for the post
To come. That mailman will be dead
Or  badly barked at; Dexter can’t bear to miss

Rug, the aged and infirm, will howl in furious fright
Should Dexter, raging at some fluorescent stranger’s cheek
For being visible, give voice with all his might
And threaten deadly, toothsome measures to a meek
Innocent and hapless lurker
Or shirker

Dressed in yellow or orange, extremely reflective
Dexter, clearly suffered in the past at someone’s hands
Woman or man, who knows? I’m no detective
But  our dog has learned to hate, to fear and understand
That safety-inducing bright
Means fight
Or flight

Rug, the blind and deaf St Bernard, lives by aroma; by her nose.
She gets excited these days only by Chinese food
When a takeaway is planned, somehow she knows
She’d live on chicken curry if she could
She’s young and free
It’s the MSG

One dog remembers noodles, oyster sauce and rice, stolen or fed
One dog was hurt by someone wearing orange or yellow clothes
(They can’t see red)

They don’t forget

(c) Scar Quilse, 2017. All rights reserved

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Delicious: Hot jazz on a chilly Aberdeen weekend

A trip to the 2017 Aberdeen Jazz Festival

Trio Vein

I always quote the Bonzos: Their track Jazz (Delicious Hot, Disgusting Cold) is a dada-esque parody of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band’s trad roots, found in all its 32 bars of cacophonous (they all played instruments they’d never picked up before) glory on the album Gorilla.

It kind of sums up my thoughts on some elements of jazz, though frankly the word ‘jazz’ is like the word ‘music’ -  it covers a multitude of sins and blessings. But it also could, I pondered as I wandered through the rain towards His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen, cover the idea of a jazz festival in Aberdeen. In March.

And I had worries, too about the Curtis Stigers/Ryan Quigley Big Band gig I was heading towards, notably what my plus-one, - my 22-year old indie hipster daughter - would make of an evening comprising mostly songs made famous by Sinatra, entitled One More For The Road.

This was the first time the Aberdeen Jazz Festival, organised by Edinburgh-based Jazz Scotland, had attempted to fill the cavernous but lovely  HMT, and it was busy. Those who had come remembering Stigers’ brief worldwide, mullet-wielding  fame in the early 90s with the likes of I Wonder Why and You’re All That Matters to Me were not disappointed - he performed both, beautifully - but the rest of the gig was a warm, self-effacing, and very entertaining romp through Sinatra’s greatest hits, plus a scattering of Stigers’ own takes on the genre.
Curtis Stigers and the Ryan Quigley Big Band

The Quigley band was exemplary throughout, playing with fire, passion, all the technical chops you’d expect and great good humour. And my daughter - who’s a classically-trained and occasionally orchestral musician, after all - loved it. These songs, beautifully played and performed, are history-proven, time-tested, and among the best ever written.

Stigers, suited and booted, looks like a scrawny, desiccated, older George Clooney and mixed happily with the audience during the interval. He’s a very good saxophonist, too, and it’s worth delving into the nooks and crannies of this eclectic talent’s output. His work on the soundtrack to TV series Sons of Anarchy is astonishingly powerful, notably his version of Son House’s blues gospel classic John the Revelator. His voice is a flexible instrument, and his jazz credentials are impeccable, going back to his beginnings. I’d buy his new album, which represents this show’s content but was recorded with the Danish Radio Big Band.

So, a triumph, and I could have gone on to the informal club at the centre of the festival, Aberdeen’s legendary Blue Lamp and enjoyed, no doubt, some more interpretations of the classics, this time Colin Steele tackling Miles Davis. But having been up since 5.00am, it was time to crash back at the Skene House Apartments in Rosemount, my home for the weekend. And very nice too. Good breakfasts, great staff, and just down the road is the wonderful Breadmaker café and the excellent Maidin Vinyl record shop. That’s what I call a location!

Next day I was engaged with things culinary and liquid, of which more elsewhere, and the evening took me to the Blue Lamp, which is a really fantastic venue, candlelit tonight and giving a very convincing impression that it’s really located somewhere in Brooklyn or just across 110th Street. It’s also completely packed for the Swiss band Trio Vein, with special guest the American saxophone legend Rick Margitza. This is contemporary, ‘modern’ jazz by piano-and-drums brothers Michael and Florian Arbenz, and bassist Thomas Lahns. Rick Margitza interracts as if he’s been playing with them forever, and while this is demanding, intellectual, occasionally abstract music it also has a warmth which makes it playful and without intimidation.

I skip off before Scottish full-on jazz-funk party outfit Fat Suit, who I know are very good indeed. Back to Skene House and a documentary on BBC4 about country music. This is what age has brought me to.
Silver City Soul Revue

Sunday is the day the festival takes to Aberdeen’s streets, with all the risks that involves. The weather, however, mostly behaves, and a selection of visiting and local acts are able to play at various open-air locations and indoor venues throughout the city centre, all for free. 

This is where the festival really, for me comes alive, with clearly enthused and occasionally joyous volunteers guiding us hither and indeed thither to investigate some unexpected musical delights. The Silver City Soul Revue down in the sub-Union Street depths of Aberdeen’s ancient Green are, for me, quite inspiring - whip smart covers of all the soul greats, and some funk treasures including Wild Cherry’s Play That Funky Music, White Boy sounding swaggeringly convincing. Up to the entrance to Marks and Spencers, where the wide-ranging nature of the festival is displayed through a local blues rock band’s effective channeling of Zeppelin and Purple.

And then, as a spattering of rain comes in from the sea, it’s off to the long-standing Belmont Street bar Drummonds for shelter, mineral water and what gradually emerges from the long, tunnel-like venue as a one-man blues band. A diminutive figure plays electric guitar and harmonica, hidden behind a gigantic bass drum. It’s great, and gradually I realise I’m listening to and watching a Scottish musical legend, the great Mike Whelans. Last seen by me in the Thule Bar in Lerwick 30 years ago, at the end of a Shetland Folk Festival, singing La Bandiera Rossa with Tich Frier and the late Davey Steele.

Time is running away with me, but as I’ve spent some 20 years passing the band stand on top of the Trinity shopping centre without ever seeing a band on it, now is an opportunity to see the edifice functioning as it was designed.  And Dope Sick Fly, a highly-rated Glasgow band who combine rock, funk, soul, jazz and hip-hop brilliantly, absolutely own the stage and the Astroturf in front of it, even though it’s getting cold and their Alabama-born singer Ant Thomaz is huddled in a very odd (but warm-looking) cardigan.
Dope Sick Fly

Truly, I only saw and heard a fraction of what was on offer at the festival. But what’s really appealing about the event is the range of styles on offer, the accessibility and sheer enthusiasm and friendliness of those involved. My experience? This jazz was hot. And delicious. Oh, and on my way to the airport, I stopped off at Maidin Vinyl and picked up some bargain LPs. Sinatra and 1920s ragtime. Scalding!
Cardigan cool

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A light lunch at Udny Green - eating where Donald Trump failed to get in

Eat on the Green, Udny Green, by Ellon, Aberdeenshire. Dinner £39-45 per person. Lunch £25-30. Menus and winelist online at:

The Kilted Chef is wearing breeks today, albeit tartan ones, and nursing the after effects of a night in Edinburgh where his restaurant Eat on the Green did NOT win the ‘Best Restaurant Experience’ gong. That went to Glasgow’s seafood joint Gamba, which I once ate in, very expensively and not without dissatisfaction.

Mr Wilson doesn’t seem bothered. Eat on the Green is one of North East Scotland’s top  dining destinations, located in a former pub in the rather perjink village of Udny Green, near Ellon. The interior brings together the sumptuous, the pure-dead-flash and the homely; its appeal to Aberdeenshire’s somewhat reduced Porsche-and-champagne set (there’s a Laurent-Perrier sponsored ‘clubroom’ , Le Salon Vert, with silvery sofas and a chandelier made of dangling bottles, not Kristal, by the way) leavened  by some quite serious art (including a massive Gerry Burns) two lovely private dining rooms, one off the kitchen and a  reception desk beamed in from the Starship Enterprise.

All of this in a low-ceilinged building with lots of quirky corners and a newly-refurbished £20k men’s toilet, any surface off which you could eat your dinner. That, however, is unnecessary as we are at that ‘chef’s table’ from which you can see into the kitchen, but don’t have to sweat with the brigade. Unless you want to pay your £200 and be a ‘chef for a day’ on one of Mr Wilson’s cooking courses.

He’s a star, Is Mr Wilson, but a genial one, and entertaining as he tells his tale of a local boy returning to his roots and finding culinary success in this initially suspicious farming community.

“How much are ye takkin fir a bowl of soup?” He remembers the craggy local comments. “Aye, I quite likkit it. But it’s affy dear.” He was determined, though, when he set up the restaurant in 2004, that it would be fine dining without snobbery (“We’re not a burger bar”), the best ingredients sourced from as near at hand as possible. Which wasn’t without difficulty. A few leery local suppliers kept him at a distance until they realised just how good Eat on the Green was, and how popular. With big names too. Sean Connery, Alex Ferguson. And Donald Trump’s golf complex is just down the road.

“We turned him away,” confides Mr Wilson, with a discreet hint of pride. “He and his entourage wanted to have dinner, but we were full.”

Mr Wilson’s career started at the Strathburn Hotel in Inverurie at 16, before a move to the prestigious Ballathie House in Perthshire (“I took a 50 per cent pay cut at 18 and a half”), Cromlix House in Dunblane as head chef and time with Baxters as a development cook. based in  Grimsby. Yes, Grimsby, where Baxters had a plant developing ‘fresh soups’. Inevitably, he began to hanker for home.

It was in England he developed the kilted persona which became popular with local TV producers, and has become his hallmark in the USA and beyond. He’s tireless in raising money for charity, seems good to his staff (they all exhibit an effortless friendliness you don’t get from cheffy shouting) and is a family man with four children, one recently born. 

“My wife says that when I cook, it reminds her why she likes me.” 

I am here as part of a whistle-stop food, drink and music press trip organised by Visit Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen Festivals. For lunch. It’ll be the usual slivers of showy, fancy food full of foibles, I surmise. A palate-tantalising taste and then on your way.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

What Mr Wilson does is take the opportunity to present us with the best of his ingredients and what simple, heartfelt, very careful high end cookery can do with them. Or in the case of what is more cheese table than board, present local products in their pristine state. They didn’t stay that way for long. I still feel guilt at what I did to that amazing, unopened smoked Clava from Inverness-shire.

Post-canapés and champagne, gigantic sharing plates are paraded through one after the other: black pudding balls, deep fried (haggis and black pudding are the coming cool ingredients of 2017, I am informed by another member of the party). Tempura vegetables and caramelised roasted roots veg, all  from the restaurant’s own polytunnels. Venison, right on the money with that tender texture it’s so difficult to achieve. Pork belly, three ways, halibut in a delicate, tangy sauce. Arbroath Smokie in pearl barley risotto, delicate and moist. Scallops and giant crayfish, from nearby Foinaven Fish using boats based in Buckie and Peterhead. Huge, generous quantities, all the cooking calibrated to perfection. While Mr Wilson turns the tables, literally, and quizzes each of us in turn about what we do , why we do it. He likes to talk, to meet people. Going around his guests and chatting is part of the deal for him, rewarding, instructive and essential. Food is social. And essentially unpretentious.

"I’ve never been into that spacebomb and foie gras sort of thing. Finesse without the bullshit, that’s me. Mince and tatties, but done really well.”

It’s the beef cheek, cooked for 14 hours and with a deep, utterly irresistible gravy, that knocks me sideways. I’ve had this cut before and found it impossible to eat, the strange, grainy texture and thin lines of fat sucking all the moisture from my mouth.

“If you cook it long enough, the fat dissolves,” says Mr Wilson, and that’s the simple truth. This is fantastic, melt-in-the-mouth meat which responds to the warning he was given when he opened the restaurant: “Remember, it’s good beef country here - remember, loon!” Me, I’m in beef bliss.

Couldn’t eat another thing. Except, oh, all right then, some slates (enough with the slates, OK? We Want Plates!) of puddings too perfect to ignore in their pressing of all those chocolate brownie, fruit and tart/sweet buttons. And what about some cheese?

All right then.

Now, I wasn’t paying for any of this, I hadn’t seen any prices, and I wondered if we were looking at the kind of colossally expensive place only really accessible for special treats, celebrities and football managers. It’s got a private champagne club, for heaven’s sake! But a quick look online showed that  Eat on the Green is actually very reasonable indeed. Dinner is £39 for two courses, £45 for three, with a very uncheeky £5 beef supplement. A decent bottle of Rioja is less than £30, a dram of Glengarioch £4.50. Obviously, boats can be pushed out if you so desire.

Me, I’m thinking about Gamba, the fortune I lavished on our family dinner there, the unexpected, somehow lax fussiness of ungenerous servings. Eat on the Green is on a different level. An admiring Gordon Baxter, Mr Wilson’s former boss, arrived to celebrate his 80th birthday at Udny, and afterwards told his former protegé: “We’re here...and you’re there. You’re the real deal.”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Promised Land, 18 March 2017

Still brown-eyed, still handsome
Still mean as a cottonmouth
Bitter, wary, watchful
Of the new north and the old south

Suitcase packed, guitar, a car
A clean shirt, cash, a gun
Things you can put your faith in
When you can't trust anyone

No woman, no disciple, fan
Friendship is only words
Just pick-up bands, a half-hour set
And Johnnie Johnson's chords

Like Johnnie, never too bad
Never good, you were the best
Motorvating over that hill
Leaving behind the rest

Gone now; vicious, suspicious
Owed by a million bands
Poor boy forever on the line
Exiled from the Promised land

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Beatcroft Social from 25 February - playlist, plus full HD video archive, Facebook issues and more

First, it's important to say that the full archive of Beatcroft Social/60North Radio shows, in full HD video and glorious stereo, is now available for streaming on the 60 North site. And that INCLUDES last night's, which, along with hundreds of other official and licensed music shows, was blocked by Facebook for reasons inaccessible to us.

We're guessing that Facebook have ignored our repeated messages regarding the licences we have taken out to ensure our broadcasts are legal, and that artists and copyright holders get paid. And that they've decided to take a 'broad brush' approach to copyright music, removing everything they think falls into that category. YouTube did the same thing but relented once deals had been struck with agencies like MCPS. We can only wait and see what happens.

Meanwhile, part of the show (about 40 minutes) IS still available on Facebook. Here, you have links to that, the Mixcloud audio stream, and, as I said, the full archive in HD video and audio, on the (much better than any other source) 60 North website. Enjoy.

Planning to go live again next week from 7.00pm on Saturday - probably with video only on Facebook and a link to the 60 North site. 

And yes, Bill Black was indeed Elvis's bassist. I know, I know...


The Las - There She Goes
The Byrds: Mr Tambourine Man
Al Green: Tired of Being Alone
Simon Haworth: The Shetland Bus
Love and Money: Candy Bar Express
Kris Drever: I Didn't Try Hard Enough
Dean Owens: Raining in Glasgow
Ron Sexsmith: Gold in Them Hills
James McMurtry: Childish Things
Richard Thompson: Don't Sit on my Jimmy Shands
Rolling Stones: Tumbling Dice
Andy Pratt: Avenging Annie
Catriona MacDonald, Debbie Scott, Knut Buen: Maggie o'Ham (foula Shaalds Dance)
Willy Mason: Restless Fugitive
Caravan: The Land of Grey and Pink
Fiddler's Bid: Leaving Lerwick Harbour
Wardruna: Helvegen
The Filthy Tongues: Crew Cut
Clifford T Ward: Home Thoughts From Abroad
Kurt Vile: Pretty Pimping
Yvonne Lyon: Learning to Live Again
Simple Minds: The American
Nathaniel Ratliff and the Night Sweats: I Need Never Get Old
Chris Stout: Norwegian Hymn

Audio only Mixcloud stream:

Here's a chunk of the show's first hour still up on Facebook:

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Beatcroft Social, 60N Radio, 11 February. Playlist, plus audio and video streams

Remembering Jimmy Moncrieff, 1959-2017

 Big Dish: Prospect Street
Admiral Fallow: Guest of the Government
Willy Mason: Restless Fugitive
North Country Fair: Shooting Star
The 101rs: Keys to Your Heart
The Clash: Brand New Cadillac
Fiddler's Bid: Leaving Lerwick Harbour
Christy Moore: Ride On
Isaac Hayes: Soulsville (vinyl; Shaft soundtrack)
The Legendary Hearts: Faded by the Sun
Jimmie Rodgers: In the Jailhouse Now (1960 vinyl)
Frightened Rabbit: Swim Until You Can't See Land
Bill Wells, Aidan Moffat: The Copper Top
Elvin Bishop: I Fooled Around and Fell In Love
Karine Polwart: The Good Years
Trashcan Sinatras: Best Days on Earth
Transvision Vamp: Born to be Sold (cassette)
Rudi: Big Time
Frankie Miller: Be Good To Yourself
Lowell George: What Do You Want the Girl To Do?
Gerry Rafferty: Whatever's Written In Your Heart
James Dewar: Out of Time
Emmylou Harris: Luxury Liner (vinyl)
Solomon Burke: Fast Train
Dr Feelgood: Milk and Alcohol
Withered Hand: Black Tambourine

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Beatcroft Social on 60n Radio, 4 February - Mixcloud audio, playlist and Facebook video

Hi - here's Saturday's Beatcroft Social, with the Mixcloud audio and Facebook streams. Thanks to everyone who got in touch! Back next Saturday at 7.00pm. New microphone - a Shure SM7B. Marked improvement, I think.

Drive By Truckers: Ramon Casiano
Tim Easton: Killing Time
Family: My Friend The Sun (vinyl)
Rory Gallagher: Bad Penny
Jason Isbell: Cover Me Up
Deke Leonard with Help Yourself and BJ Cole: Mona (from 'Christmas at the Patti', vinyl)
Warren Zevon:Carmelita
Peerie Willie Johnson: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Michael Marra: Schenectady Calling Peerie Willie Johnson
Robin Trower Band: Too Rolling Stoned
Stone the Crows: On the Highway
Julie Covington: Don't Cry for me Argentina (vinyl single)
Undertones: You've Got My Number (Why Don't you Use It?)
Diesel Park West: When the Hoodoo Comes
JSD Band: Ol' Groundhog (8-track cartridge)
Michael Marra: Johnny Hallyday
Johnny Hallyday: L'Envie
Patti Scialfa: Rumble Doll
Bruce Springsteen: Brilliant Disguise
David Heavenor: Linger and Go
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions: Speedboat
Lau: Ghosts
Dave Edmunds: Back to Schooldays (vinyl)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

Theresa may...

Theresa may
Theresa might
Come for dinner
And spend the night
Perhaps she said she loved you
But will she change her mind?
Theresa may
She could be up for a bit of slap
And tickle
But she's already proved herself
A little fickle
She used to like a croissant, and a glass of
Pays d'Oc
Now she stuffs herself with
Cheeseburgers and Coke
And she says 'sheet' instead of 'shite'
Theresa may, Theresa might
Prove trustworthy and
But then again
Theresa mightn't

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Playing Golf With the Leader Of The Free World On the Day the USA Legalised Torture

I was playing golf with the Leader of the Free World
He said: "Don't feel you have to let me win."
But he three-putted on the second hole
And I chipped my approach shot in.
He drove into the bunker at the fourth
I was nine holes up at the turn
He said "the Secret Service have your wife and kids
Soaked in gasoline. Gonna let them burn?"
I laughed - hey, the guy's got some sense of humour -
And beat him 10 and eight, fair and square
I drove home, and the closer I got
I could smell the petrol in the smoky air

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Beatcroft Social, 21 January - now streaming in HD video, on Facebook and audio only

Exciting news! We are now archiving our 60 North Radio broadcasts at in high definition video and stereo. You can find the latest Beatcroft (incorporating The Museum of Lost Audio) and some of the older ones here: .

The latest Beatcroft features some great aurora shots towards the end of the show, and the Hogmanay special has Da Mirrie Dancers galore!

Of course, the Mixcloud audio-only and Facebook options are still open to you, and embedded later in this post.

A quick word about the immediate future: next week's show is a pre-Up Helly Aa special with guest Maurice Henderson of Fiddler's Bid, who'll be talking about his new book In Search of Willafjord, the story of a tune...

Then, on Up Helly Aa (Lerwick) day itself (Tuesday 31 January) 60N Radio will be on air almost all day with live video and audio. Starting with two hours from 9-11am, I will cover the opening parade of the Jarl Squad, first sight of the galley and unveiling of Da Bill, with pertinent music! Then some live footage of the Fiery Sessions concerts, followed by the Beatcroft Social back on air from 5-7pm. After that we have the legendary Davie Gardner and Peter Malcolmson and live coverage of the main event itself. So if you can't be in Shetland for the biggest Viking fire festival in the world, tune in on Facebook Live and on

Anyway, here's last night's playlist, followed by the Facebook and Mixcloud players.

Waterboys: A Girl Called Johnny
Lloyd Cole: She's a Girl and I'm a Man
Aberfeldy: Claire (vinyl single)
Randolph's Leap: I Can't Dance To This Music Anymore
Jill Jackson: Always the Last To Know
Justin Currie: If I Ever Loved You
Set the Tone: Rap Your Love (vinyl)
Lush Rollers: Out in the Woods
Kris Drever and Julie Fowlis: Not Where It's At
Aly Bain: Gillian's Reel/Charles Sutherland/Donald Stewart the Piper
Taste: Same Old Story (vinyl)
Beck, Mathewson and Humair: Suite No.5 (Gordon Beck) on CD Jazz Trio
Debbie Scott (with Peerie Willie Johnson): Lady Be Good (vinyl)
Josef K: Heaven Sent (vinyl)
Aztec Camera: We Could Send Letters
Lemonheads: My Stove (cassette)
Finnieston: Complicated Mind
Big Country: Fields of Fire
Catriona Macdonald: Shetland Reels
Icicle Works: Love is a Wonderful Colour
Astrid Williamson: Never Enough
Blue Nile: Tinseltown in the Rain

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

'Jubilation in the Land...when Johnny Strikes Up the Band' Beatcroft Social from last Saturday with rare Paul Buchanan radio session tracks

Sorry for the delay in posting, folks, but here's Saturday's Beatcroft Social from 60 North Radio, including these very rare Paul Buchanan solo sessions for a US radio station. Audio on Mixcloud and the Facebook video and audio stream.

We've been very busy this week preparing for what will be around six hours of broadcasting on Tuesday 31st January, Up Helly Aa Day. There will be special live Beatcroft Socials from 9-11am and 5-7pm, with video of some of the greatest moments in Viking action.


Warren Zevon: Johnny Strikes Up The Band
Bottle Rockets: Radar Gun
Luke Sital Singh: American Girl
Blue Nile: I Love this Life (vinyl 45)
The Hold Steady: The Swish
The XX: Brave for You
Steve Butler: Waving and Drowning (vinyl)
Japandroids: No Known Drink or Drug
Paul Buchanan radio session: A Walk Across The Rooftops
Tom Anderson, Aly Bain, Davie Tulloch, Trevor Hunter: The Unst Bridal March and The Bride's a Bonnie Ting (vinyl, from The Silver Bow Volume 1)
Lise Sinclair: Wireless (from the A Time to Keep CD)
JD MacPherson and Pokey LaFarge: Good Old Oklahoma
Poco: Rose of Cimarron
Mark Kozalek: Up To My Neck in you
AC/DC: Got Blood If you Want It
The Beat Poets:Killer Bee Honey (vinyl)
MC Solaar: La Vie Est Belle
Rilo Kiley: Portions for Foxes
Blue Nile: Stay (vinyl)
Paul Buchanan radio session: Easter Parade
Teenage Fanclub: The Darkest Part of the Night
Buckingham Nicks: Don't Let Me down again (vinyl)
Dropkick Murphys: 4-15-13
Elton John: Are You Ready for Love?
Flamin' Groovies: Shake some Action

Sunday, January 08, 2017

First show of 2017: Beatcroft Social with digital, vinyl, cassette, CD and reel-to-reel tape in The Museum of Lost Audio

Here's the full playlist for The Beatcroft Social on 60 North Radio from 7 January 2017, plus the archived Facebook Live video (no aurora visible due to heavy cloud, alas) the Mixcloud audio stream and the (partial) Spotify playlist (none of the Museum of Lost Audio stuff). Back live next week!

British Sea Power: Bad Bohemian
Canned Heat: Going Up The Country
Miracle Glass Company: How Long? (Vinyl)
Luke Sital-Singh: This Woman's Work
California Honeydrops: Sit down On It
Pete Atkin: Sessionman's Blues (Vinyl)
Fiddler's Bid: Ode To Joy
Astrid Williamson: Loaded Like a Gun
Shakin' Pyramids: Hell Bent on Rockin' (Vinyl)
Blind Boy Flugga (with Andy Munro): The Reverend Love (cassette demo/radio session)
Beck Bogart and Appice: Superstition
Lou Reed: Legendary Hearts
Frank Sinatra: Not as a Stranger (World Record Club reel-to-reel pre-record)
Pete Stack and the Rayburns: Walking the Dog
Rory Gallagher: In Your Town
Arthur Nicholson: God Only Knows
The Bible: Glory Bound (Live B-side;vinyl)
Robert Mitchum: Beauty is Only Skin-Deep
Ivor Cutler: I Worn My Elbows
Rachel Sweet: B-A-B-Y Baby
Midlake: Roscoe
We Free Kings: Love is in the Air (Vinyl)
Billy Swan: Jailhouse Rock/King Creole
Ane Brun: To Make You Feel My Love
Betty Davis: My Soul is Tired
Curlew: Shetland Reels (Ramna Stacks; Da Spirit of Whisky; Gold For Da Boannie Lasses)

Sunday, January 01, 2017

...Happy New Year, fantastic aurora on Hogmanay, some great music from Shetland...via Shetland...and onwards to the world

It's 1 January 2017, I'm the only one out of bed and the Rancilio has been duly fired up. Coffee (Bean Shop of Perth espresso blend, as used in Lerwick's excellent Peerie Shop Café) has been taken, but the benefit of doing the show last night was a late start to drinking and, due to tiredness, an early finish. Had to get up at 5.00am yesterday to get James from the airport. Now, in the house above, he, Martha, Magnus, Magnus's fiancée Katie, Susan, our pal Lizzie and three dogs (Rug the St Bernard, Cooper the Greyhound, Dexter the Hyperactive Mongrel) are all snoozing.

And it's a beautiful day! Cold northerly blowing, but clear and blue skies. After an amazing night for the aurora, da merrie dancers, the northern lights, which allowed some of our visitors, just three days in Shetland, to see a fireworks display that eclipsed Edinburgh's by a very large degree.

So anyway, here I am, and I hope you're feeling good about the 12 months to come. To cheer you on your way, here's the Mixcloud audio stream of last night's two-hour Beatcroft Social, plus the last 20 minutes or so of video on Facebook - the rest was annoyingly taken down by a Facebook algorithm without explanation. But that last half hour has some of the finest shots of the aurora, mostly from the Cliff Cam at Sumburgh head, looking north.

Back live next week! Happy New Year. Oh, and here's a full playlist too, plus a link to the Spotify playlist which includes some tasty extras (and excludes the vinyl and cassettes). And can anyone spot the ONLY EVER reference in popular song to the glorious Yamaha FS1E 'Fizzy' motorcycle?



Beatcroft Social Hogmanay Special - full playlist

Righteous Brothers/Wrecking Crew: Rat Race
The Beat: Tears of a Clown
Frank Wilson: Do I love You? (Indeed I Do)
The Ukrainians: Anarchy in the UK (vinyl)
Ryan Adams: To Be Without you
Beat Farmers: Reason to Believe
Bruce Springsteen: Cadillac Ranch
Paul Brady: Arthur McBride (live recording from 'The Missing Liberty Tapes')
Pete Atkin: Time to Burn (lyrics by Clive James)
Aly Bain, Tom Anderson, Davie Tulloch, Trevor Hunter, Violet Tulloch: Jack Broke Da Prison Door/Donald Blue/Sleep Sound in the Morning/Lasses Trust in Providence/The Bonnie Isle of Whalsay. (Vinyl, from 'The Silver Bow Volume One')
Richard and Linda Thompson: Wall of Death
Scrape the Barrel: Last Chance (cassette, from 'Shetland Calling')
The Bashies: Black Cat
Gloria Jones: Tainted Love
Seasick Steve: Abraham, Martin and John
Status Quo: Over and Done With
Joe Ely: The Road Goes On Forever
Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells: The Copper Top
Tom Robinson Band: Up Against the Wall
Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back In town
Ronnie Costley: Hogmanay in Heaven (demo)
Stone Roses: Fool's Gold (vinyl 12-inch single)
Toots and the Maytals: 54-46 - That's My Number
Chuck Wood: Seven Days Too Long
Lorraine Chandler: I Can't Hold On
Free: All Right Now