BE have just announced that they will be performing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.
News that the collective will bring their immersive soundscape from ‘The Hive’ to Worthy Farm comes in addition to already-annouced appearances at Bluedot Festival, Caught by the River Thames and End of the Road.
The sculptural installation behind the album moves to its new home at Kew Gardens this summer, opening to the public on 18 June.
First Light: A Celebration Of Alan Garner
Edited by Erica Wagner
Unbound, 316 pages, out now. Buy a copy here.
Review by Ben Myers
Alan Garner occupies a unique space in the modern literary world – and as a “a shallow recess, especially one carved or set in a wall” niche is perhaps the correct word. He is either Britain’s best living writer or someone that large swathes of book lovers simply haven’t heard of, much less read. Press coverage is sporadic and scant in relation to the magnitude and durability of his novels, the visibility of his books unpredictable and public appearances are minimal.
His career – and that is definitely not a word that should be used to describe the work of someone who is reaching beyond the limitations of physical form and place to leave work to ring down the ages – is certainly a series of contradiction. He is the children’s writer who only ever wrote, simply, for people. The fantasy author for readers who do not always read fantasy. The iconic figurehead for a certain strand of literature that explores landscape, history, time and all things chthonic, who remains barely publicly recognisable, instead preferring to publish works as and when he sees fit, ensconced in his medieval house, Toad Hall, deep in the Cheshire landscape in which much of his work is set. (more…)
A series of four new prints by renowned artist Stanley Donwood has just been added to the Slowly Downward Manufactory shop. Here’s what he has to say about them:
‘In the summer of 2014 I found myself on a vast expanse of mudflats off the Essex coast. I ended up making four drawings, adapted from photographs taken during the filming of a music video. The mudflats are known as Maplin Sands, and there is a path across them to an island called Foulness. The path is called ‘The Broomway’, and is said to be ‘the most dangerous path in Britain’. It is an eerie quarter of the world.’
The four drawings have now been made into screen prints, entitled Raven, Gull, Fox & Hare and Broomway. Each is hand-printed on Somerset Satin 270gsm stock with three colours, as numbered editions of 88; signed and stamped. (more…)
My Old Man: Tales of Our Fathers edited by Ted Kessler
(Canongate, 256 pages, hardback. Out today and available here from the Caught by the River shop.)
Review by Mathew Clayton
I knew Ted Kessler’s name from the NME in the 1990s, but I never really took any notice of him until he started penning the odd piece for Caught by the River. I really liked his writing, not quite sure why. He wrote about QPR, he wrote about his spin class (a first for CBTR!), there was litany of personal disasters and a monthly diary How Far to the Horizon that only lasted three entries – but for some reason he struck a chord.
Then he started the blog My Old Man. Like all the best ideas it is a very simple one: people writing about their fathers. The blog has now become a fantastic book. It contains around 40 pieces, mainly by well-known people (stacked quite heavily with music industry faces). People like Nathan McGough, former manager of the Happy Mondays writes brilliantly about his two fathers – his stepdad the poet Roger McGough and his real dad Anthony Monagham who walks out of his life when he is three years old. In his early twenties, Nathan tracks Anthony down and they meet up. A night out is arranged with his wider family, but his dad takes him off for a quick drink first. My favourite sentence in the book is the last one in this brief extract, ‘‘We walked up to the pub and he asked if I could lend him the fiver that my auntie had just given me. All right, fine. We had pints. It came to seven thirty and I told him we had to go back and meet everyone, but he wouldn’t leave the boozer. ‘I’ll give you a bit of advice,’ he said. Don’t pay attention to what women tell you to do. Do what you want.’ It’s the worst advice you could give anyone’’. (more…)
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be detailing the daily lineups for Caught by the River Thames, stage by stage. Without further ado, allow the linguistically talented Roy Wilkinson to tell you everything you need to know about the Lawn Stage acts performing on Sunday 7 August. Ticket information available here.
Super Furry Animals
Super Furry Animals have brought much to music – hits, Paul McCartney guesting on carrot-and-celery percussion and the first Welsh-language album to reach the UK Top 20. When SFA released debut album Fuzzy Logic in 1996, the idea of a band from Wales registering on an international level still seemed a novelty, a kind of pop equivalent of a Jamaican bobsleigh team – let alone a Welsh band who sometimes sing in Welsh. By the end of the 1990s, SFA were headlining the Cardiff International Arena and broadcasting the performance on the internet. (more…)