Thankful Villages Vol.2 – Album Launch

21 April 2017 // Events

We are pleased to announce that Paula Cocozza has been added to the lineup for the launch of Darren Hayman’s Thankful Villages Vol.2. She’ll be introducing and reading from her debut novel How to be Human, which, centring on the relationship between a woman and her neighbourhood fox, has been met with rave reviews since its publication a couple of weeks ago. This reading comes in addition to previously announced appearances from Luke Turner, Spaceship Mark, DJ Frances Castle and MC John Andrews, as well as, of course, a live set from Darren. You can find more information here.

Tickets for this event, which takes place on Friday 26 May, are already running very low, and we recommend booking as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. You can do so here.

Thankful Villages Vol. 2 is available to preorder both physically and digitally. Woodend, the single from the album, is available for instant download.

Neu! Reekie! – Festival of Counter Culture

17 April 2017 // Events

Chuffed to be involved in this Neu! Reekie! take-over at Hull 2017 UK City of Culture. Our part of the programme is from 3:30pm on Sunday 4 June. Representing on the day will be MC John Andrews, Martha Sprackland, Will Burns and Adelle Stripe.

Ticket information and event details can be found here.

The full Neu! Reekie! programme is here.

Interview with Jez riley French | Height of the Reeds

26 March 2017 // Events //Field Recording

Neil Mudd chats to field recordist Jez riley French about capturing the ‘music’ of the Humber Bridge for ‘Height of the Reeds’, his Hull UK City of Culture 2017 collaboration with Opera North

‘Noises must become music,’ wrote Robert Bresson in Notes on Cinematography, with a characteristic exactness that might just as readily be used to describe the work of artist Jez riley French – a pioneer in field recording and creative sound.

Presented with a tape recorder at a young age by his mother, French has spent his life listening to noise in all its myriad forms, either with his ears or through the high-specification microphones he designs himself. Alongside Chris Watson, French is an important figure in British field recording. He lectures and runs workshops about it around the world. He has curated numerous performances, installations and exhibitions, with works and performances for Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, The Whitworth and others. He runs the label engraved glass, a music imprint through which he releases limited editions of his own composition work and those of like-minded spirits; he publishes an e-zine verdure engraved to showcase other artists’ work; and he creates photographic scores for an occasional series of collaborations with his daughter, the artist, Phoebe riley Law. (more…)

Living with Gef

16 March 2017 // Books //Events

During the mid-1930s, British and overseas newspapers were full of incredible stories about Gef, a ‘talking mongoose’ or ‘man-weasel’ who had allegedly appeared in the home of the Irvings, a farming family in a remote district of the Isle of Man. This bizarre story is the focus of Christopher Josiffe’s forthcoming book, Gef! The Strange Tale of An Extra-Special Talking Mongoose, published by the estimable Strange Attractor Press on 8 May. Find an extract from the book below.

Both author and publisher join us at our second Horse Hospital event, taking place on Monday 20 March. More info and tickets here.


“I am not a spirit,” Gef declared. “I am just a little, extra clever mongoose.” By mid 1932, James Irving had come to revise his earlier opinion that Gef was nothing more than a flesh-and-blood, physical animal – albeit one with extraordinary gifts, such as the power of speech. Instead, he had begun to think of Gef as something supernatural. Nevertheless, several pieces of evidence were incompatible with his being a conventional spirit or ghost.

Despite Gef’s garrulous and lively behaviour at night, eventually, he too would require sleep. For Gef, bed was either a nest of grass or moss in his ‘sanctum’ (Fodor had taken a sample), or a pillow downstairs in the dining room – the Irvings claimed to be able to discern an indentation in this pillow the next day. (more…)

Event: Roger Deakin: Exploring the Archive

14 March 2017 // Events //Miscellany

Dear Caught by the River,

I would like to bring to your attention an event taking place at the end of next month at the Writers’ Centre Norwich in collaboration with UEA celebrating the work of wild swimmer and nature writer Roger Deakin. This afternoon of talks, readings and discussion on Sunday 30th April will explore the two great themes of this important author – Water and Woods.

We have a great line-up of speakers and readers and we ask that you might share this with anyone among your readers who you think might be interested in joining us. All are welcome.

With kind regards,

Jos Smith

For tickets and information visit the UEA site HERE.