Autumn: an extract from John Lewis-Stempel

27 August 2016 // Books

Autumn cover new spine.indd

Dusk is already filling the wood. Across the valley some Duracell jackdaws yap, and yap.

There was a storm last night. The floor of the wood is a chaos of crashed branches and downed trunks: a Norse god’s idea of Pick-up-Sticks. Among the fallen is the beech-by-the-stile, the one I touch every day as I pass.

Touched. Past tense.

Gothic architects likely got their inspiration for cathedral columns from beech. Certainly the beech-by-the-stile supported the sky.

You think of wood, the stuff, as something warm, domestic; it’s the dining table, the parquet floor, the rolling pin. But beech trees are as stone-cold hard as pillars. (more…)

Stranger on the Shore

26 August 2016 // Film/TV

Stranger on the Shore is a new cycle of video-poems by Michael Smith and Maxy Neil Bianco, looking at the bohemian eccentricity of Hastings, the dockside desolation of the Thames Estuary, and the spooky enchantment of Whitby. The films feature an original soundtrack by Andrew Weatherall & Nina Walsh.

In the run up to the screening at The Social on 31 August, Michael Smith has made a series of 5 trailers. Here’s number 2 in the series.

Jeb’s Jukebox

26 August 2016 // Jeb's Jukebox

most of all

Ken Matthews
Most Of All
Olde World Records

My postbox sits in the corner of a sheep grazed field, next to a rusting gate. It’s a quarter mile away, along a single track gravel lane. It’s a walk I know intimately. The lane, lined by alders and hazels and bracken and nettles, is covered in uneven slate gravel and sheep muck. Crows and rooks and the occasional redkite sit on the fence posts. To the east the valley disappears in a jumble of hills. The postbox is a wooden box with a hinged lid. It needs painting. The post, delivered by Dave, arrives around ten o’clock.

Is there a better walk in all the world? I come through my gate, onto the my lane, and walk slowly up the slight incline. Often the wind comes from the west, across the uplands; we’re the last house before thirty miles of moorland. On Friday, in the bright morning, the walk took me thirty minutes; there were elder flowers to sniff, a green pine cone to pocket, starlings to watch, fresh muck to avoid, and long moments standing still, doing nothing. Yesterday, in a light rain, the same walk took ten minutes. (more…)

I Had Myself A Nuclear Spring: a review revisited

25 August 2016 // Rivertones

IMG_4030Ahead of tomorrow’s Rivertones release of Kate Carr’s I Had Myself A Nuclear Spring, we wanted to return to Luke Turner‘s review of the album from January this year – at which time it was a limited USB-only release on Kate’s label, Flaming Pines. You can order a copy of the album on digital, CD and vinyl formats here.


Ever since Charles De Gaulle created the Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique shortly after the end of the Second World War, the French government has displayed a marked enthusiasm for nuclear power, with 75% of the country’s electricity coming from its 59 fusion reactors. After the Fukushima disaster, however, public opinion on nuclear energy in the country has waned, with a majority of people now opposing, rather than supporting its use. (more…)

BE: live in The Hive

24 August 2016 // Music //Rivertones

9905_BeOne_Poster_A1_V7 copy

Rivertones recording artists BE announce four performances in The Hive at Kew.

28th September – Performance 1 at 6pm, Kew Gardens (tickets)
– Performance 2 at 8pm, Kew Gardens (tickets)

29th September – Performance 1 at 6pm, Kew Gardens (tickets)
– Performance 2 at 8pm, Kew Gardens (tickets) (more…)