Caught by the River

Pleasures of… August

8th September 2010


Trunk Records
Although I’ve long been an admirer and collector of the releases on the Trunk label, last month I really gained another level of respect for the sterling, crate digging work of head honcho Jonny Trunk when he came to give a talk at the Roam project I was running. Trunk unearth great lost sounds, whether that’s slightly trippy and sinister children’s music, lost film scores or rare works from the Radiophonic Workshop. It’s a treasure trove of half-memories, things you’re pretty sure you know but can’t quite place.

Anyway, on a sunny afternoon in Haggerston Park back in early July Jonny gave a hilarious and inspiring Sunday service in the back of my van. His lecture took the audience on a trip through acid fried religious songs, concept library music and undersea soundtracks. It was hugely informative but never preachy, you felt like Jonny actually wanted you to know and love the records as much as he did. I sat and listened to the whole thing with my Dad who sat enthralled by the whole thing, no matter how demented the music got – which obviously made it even more heartening.

Hearing Jonny’s latest release – a fantastic, hugely addictive gem by forgotten Cambridge post-punk band The Jellies getting hammered on BBC6 is almost as if the radio dial has suddenly twisted over to an alternative universe where the underdogs and the freaks make up a healthy part of the daytime playlists. Really, wouldn’t that just be an ace thing?

Days in the Life
Rereading Jonathon Green’s exhilarating account of ’60s counterculture. Every page throws out more and more truly enviable attitudes. A brilliant and inspiring book, as always.

Grinderman 2

Truly, this is a heavy record. Absolutely awesome sounding music made by men way old enough to know better. The video for Heathen Child is one of the greatest videos I’ve seen in many a year.


Eastbound And Down dvd
Possibly the best £9.99 I’ll spend this year. Hilarious, poignant, and utterly politically incorrect in equal measures. A real must see.

Edwyn Collins ‘Losing Sleep’ LP.
Brilliant new record from Edwyn. ‘In Your Eyes’ is the stand out song for me. Euphoric chorus featuring the singer from The Drums. There’s an ace video for the title track/first single by our very good friend and Caught By The River co-conspirator Kieran Evans which can be found here.

‘The Marrowbone Marble Company’ Glenn Taylor.
The second novel from the author of the genius ‘Ballad Of Trenchmouth Taggart.’ The highest compliment I can pay is that it more than lives up to its predecessor.


Sea of Bees.
We find ourselves getting ‘plugged’ a bit these days. Mainly music, a few books, mostly crap but occasionally brilliant (‘Blood Knots’, Bibio, ‘Electric Eden’). Last month something good happened but I could have screwed up and that would have been down to those ugly ol’ devils, cynicism and suspicion (hey, I’ve been in the music business for 25 years, gimme a break).
An email arrived. It was from a plugger. He very politely explained that he reads the site, likes it and genuinely believes that we will like his band. The one with a new record, the one called Sea of Bees. I paid no attention to where the mail came from, I did appreciate his manners though so I put the folder on the desk top and had every intention of listening. Eventually.
To be honest, Sea of Bees did sound interesting but for some reason I got it into my head that it was a record about bees and I just wasn’t arsed. Two weeks later, it was still there, un-opened. Thankfully I remembered my own manners. I played it. It’s great. Beyond great. I love it. It’s one young lady from Sacramento, She’s called Julie and we are now going to release the record on Heavenly. The mad thing is that Nathan (Walker, for he is the hero of this story) had no idea that we did a record label, he is in the United States, he follows the site and somehow he made this happen.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since. I’ve said a few times on here that starting the site and seeing it develop reminds me a lot of the early days of Heavenly and – excuse me while I romanticise – it feels like the dots have been joined and I like it.
So now it’s my turn to be the plugger. You can listen to some music and find out more about Sea of Bees by visiting the Heavenly website and Julie’s myspace.