We’re extremely proud and very,very excited to be able to announce the line up (or most of it at least) for our stage at this year’s Port Eliot Festival. Running from Thursday July 19th to Sunday 22nd, we’ve programmed the days to represent the three ideological cornerstones of Caught by the River: great beer, great music and the great outdoors.
Thursday night will given over to Jo & Danny (It’s Jo & Danny, the Green Man) who will host a music night while Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be the usual mix of talks, live music and DJs. After the jump, we’ve listed as many of the performers as we can at this point in time in no particular order – when we start to properly schedule the whole thing we’ll post up how it’s going to run on the weekend. Tickets are available now through the Port Eliot website. See you at the bar.
Picture of British Sea Power’s Martin Noble from last year’s festival courtesy of Neil Thomson.
Robert Macfarlane won the Guardian First Book Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award for his first book, Mountains of the Mind (2003). His second, The Wild Places (2007), was similarly celebrated, winning three prizes and being shortlisted for six more. Both books were adapted for television by the BBC. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He is currently collaborating on a book with the Radiohead artist Stanley Donwood; and with the jazz musician Arnie Somogyi on a performance to be held in a former nuclear weapons test site off the Suffolk coast. His eagerly awaited third book, The Old Ways, is published this spring by Hamish Hamilton.
Chris Yates is Britain’s foremost angling writer and one of the patron saints of Caught by the River. His latest book, Nightwalk, is a fish-free musing on all things nocturnal. Of the book, Chris says, “some of my best memories happened while I was walking through the dark. The night is an uninhabited land and when I’m there it’s only me and the true natives, the owls, deer, badgers, glow worms and other creatures that I never get to identify.”
Jeb Loy Nichols
Jeb Loy Nichols is an award winning musician, writer and artist living and working in mid – Wales. He has, over the past twenty years, as a member of Fellow Travellers and a solo artist, released 11 CDs. Mojo magazine called his most recent LP – The Jeb Loy Nichols Special (released this year on Decca Records) ‘an instant classic.” As a printmaker, he’s had successful exhibitions in New York, Berlin, Tokyo, London, and Cardiff. His first novel, The Untogether, was published in 2009.
“Nichols is the high priest of country cool.” – Rolling Stone
Geoff Travis opened the Rough Trade Record Shop in Ladbroke Grove in 1976 after an inspirational trip to San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore. In the years since, Geoff has been at the beating heart of the independent music scene, his name synonymous with many of the greatest left-of-centre musical artists of the last forty years.
Richard King has worked at the heart of the independent music business for twenty years. He is an honorary founding partner of The Do Lectures, the co-editor of Loops and lurks in the background of Domino Radio. How Soon Is Now?, his first book, is a history of British independent music and is published by Faber. He has written for The Guardian and The Observer among many other publications and is a regular contributor to Caught By The River
H. Hawkline is a multi-instrumentalist residing in the back streets of Cardiff’s Riverside. Having played the Cardiff circuit for years with the likes of Cate Le Bon, Richard James, Euros Childs, Sweet Baboo, Gruff Rhys and Islet, H. Hawkline was finally tempted out from the shadows of his musical peers and became a solo artist in his own right.
“A fantastic one-off musician with charm, ideas and an eloquence that mesmerizes” Huw Stephens
“Lundy’s greatest export since tinned seaweed. And a far superior listen. A salt-encrusted masterpiece” Gruff Rhys
Jo Bartlett and Danny Hagan
Jo Bartlett and Danny Hagan have been partners in the world of music for over 25 years. While Jo was still a teenager, they decided to put gigs on themselves. This led to the creation of the Buzz Club, a monthly event run from an arts centre in Aldershot, Hampshire. Over a period of seven years, the club played host to the most exciting and defining bands of a generation, including the Stone Roses, Manic Street Preachers, Suede, Blur, Primal Scream and the Happy Mondays. Writing and recording as It’s Jo and Danny the pair self-released their debut album ‘Lank Haired Girl to Bearded Boy’, produced in 8 ½ days on a £2,000 budget. In 2003, Jo and Danny founded the Green Man Festival in Wales. The first year was a one-day event that took place in front of 350 people. By 2011, the festival had grown to a three-day sell-out crowd of 15,000. Jo and Danny booked headline artists such as Robert Plant, Flaming Lips, Fleets Foxes, Joanna Newsom and Animal Collective, and early, career-defining performances from the likes of Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling.
Jo & Danny will be presenting Fringe on Top, a night of hand-picked music featuring:
The See See
Aligning a brash love of U.S. West Coast psychedelia to latter day European influences (Spacemen 3 particularly) The See See weave harmonized laments through McGuinn-esque guitars. This is a band who have now become a lush sum of their parts. Led by Richard Olson (who previously fronted acid folk rock band Eighteenth Day Of May) this London based group have on this record pooled their influences together to make an album of a perfect two halves, dishing up spun out ballads (Big Wheels, Fix Me Up), alongside euphoric, lazer guided instrumentals (Sunbleached) and ritualistic, daisy-chained rollercoasters (The Day That Was The Day).
“Channels the classicisms of Love-era LA with La’s era Liverpool; the private press country rock of Relatively Clean Rivers with the laconic, wasted drawled vocals of the junked-up 70s” Record Collector
By The Sea
It’s 1999. I’m in Birmingham in a studio with Delta as the string arrangements are being recorded for Slippin Out. This should be a joyous moment, but I’m quietly agonizing to myself knowing there isn’t enough money in the kitty to mix the album. I silently make a deal to myself that if we can just get this record finished, I promise to stop putting anymore records out as this will have been ‘the moment’. Turns out I’m not even very good at lying to myself.
Fast forward 13 years, and I’m still making false promises to myself, still daydreaming about the perfect record. You know the ones. ‘Cattle & Cane’, Bizarre Love Triangle’, ‘Kangaroo’, ‘Ballad Of The Band’.
“You should hear this new band called By The Sea” says Richard from The See See. Uh-huh, another band I’m thinking. Just what I need. We go and see them shortly after and spend the whole gig looking at each other in stunned shock. How can a band be this so damned right? Since then they have improved.Their debut 7″ Waltz Away’ came out last year on Great Pop Supplement. Probably played it a thousand or so times so far. Andrew Weathearall played it on 6 music. I liked it when he made techno records with Keith Tenniswood.
Going to see Felt on their last tour, late nights up on The Downs in Bristol, My Bloody Valentine at The Roundhouse. Receiving another finished album for the label… All these pinpoint moments drive me mad, but in a good way. There is still no money to finish records, but if we get the By The Sea one finished, I promise not to make anymore promises. Perhaps.
(Guy Sirman, Feb 2012)
Author, beer writer, journalist, broadcaster, consultant, taster, pundit and drinker, Pete Brown has been penning books about all things ale since the 2003 classic “Man Walks Into A Pub”. Pete was described by the Times Literary Supplement as ‘the beer drinker’s Bill Bryson.” His fourth book is due out later this year.
Robert Ellis, a 23-year old native of Houston, Texas, was raised on bluegrass and country music and played the songs of his heroes (Buck Owens, Conway Twitty, Johnny Paycheck and George Jones) every Wednesday night at the legendary Fitzgerald’s club in Houston – The New York Times recently described Robert’s music as “equally inspired by Jackson Browne and George Jones”.
Chris Watson is one of the world’s leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena, and for Touch he edits his field recordings into a filmic narrative. For example. the unearthly groaning of ice in an Icelandic glacier is a classic example of, in Watson’s words, putting a microphone where you can’t put your ears. He was born in Sheffield where he attended Rowlinson School and Stannington College (now part of Sheffield College). In 1971 he was a founding member of the influential Sheffield-based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire. His sound recording career began in 1981 when he joined Tyne Tees Television. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world. As a freelance recordist for film, tv & radio, Chris Watson specialises in natural history and documentary location sound together with track assembly and sound design in post production.
Stephen Parker used to photograph musicians in London and then ran away to Cornwall. He still takes photographs but also records a radio show from his kitchen – FreeRange Music – with his friend Mike. It is broadcast on The Source 96.1 FM to Falmouth, Penryn and surrounding areas – and online. Whilst his fascination with music and old records continues, a new desire to sit in a boat and catch fish means his shed is now filling up with rods, reels and old floats alongside boxes of battered 45s. Very pleased to be invited back to Port Eliot, he plans to play pastoral music and English Rock & Roll of all types to complement a weekend by the river.
From the very first time you play a Crybaby record you will recognise that same low-light burn that reaches out across Elvis and Joe Meek, Roy Orbison and The Smiths, Scott Walker and Phil Spector, the Beach Boys, Richard Hawley and Jesus & Mary Chain. Crybaby make music for grown-ups, music for those amongst us who know that both pain and pleasure can be brutal but temporary, so you should hang onto their redemptive and restorative power as long as you can. After all, when you’re in the grip of one or the other is when you feel most alive – and isn’t that exactly what great music should do? Crybaby deliver raw emotion with restrain and finesse, that’s about the size of it.
“A truly wonderful album” The Sunday Times Culture Magazine 5 Feb 2012
“A wonderful blend of Roy Orbison, The Smiths, Phil Spector and the Jesus & Mary Chain. An utterly charming debut.” The Guardian F&M Playlist 13 Jan 2012
Cate Le Bon
Cate Le Bon’s debut LP Me Oh My was described by Word magazine thus: “As cymbals clash and keyboards whirl, imagine P J Harvey’s rawness tangling with Super Furry Animals’ prog and a vocalist who forgoes folk soft asides for delicious black humor”. The Welsh singer-songwriter and sometime member of Neon Neon’s forthcoming second LP is a collection of pop nuggets that sounded like they’d fallen off the back of a broken carousel, imbued with the playfulness of Faust, Syd Barrett and the tropical melodies of Os Mutantes and stitched together with a foreboding silken lyrical thread. Existential word play abounds and fuzz fused guitar lines tear through like an angry bee in a CAN as Cate muses on matters of the heart and the magnetic pull of the ocean.
“Broadcast remapped by James Blake” NME
“Like Sufjan Stevens and a parliament of owls in a feathery group hug, happily tumbling down an upwards escalator in slow motion” The Guardian ‘Single of the Week’
Diagrams may be an unfamiliar name, but the voice will be instantly recognisable: this is the new project of Sam Genders, former co-frontman and songwriter of experimental folkies Tunng. Diagrams bears all the invention and imagination of the band Genders founded with Mike Lindsay, who has led Tunng since Genders’s departure, but channels it in a different direction. This is crisp, minimalist pop music that fizzes with electronic effects, synth-bass, programmed beats and low-key funk grooves, bringing to mind the leftfield pop of Arthur Russell, Metronomy, Hot Chip, Steve Mason and Peter Gabriel.
The Bees are in a very good place, the best they’ve ever been in. Their recently released fourth LP – Every Step’s A Yes – was the most focussed and most complete record they’ve ever made. According to Paul Butler, the band’s singer and songwriter (and guitarist and piano-player and saxophonist and trumpet player, that’s the sort of band The Bees are), they are in touch every day with, “new ideas and new ways of doing things.”
Cheryl Tipp is the curator of wildlife sound recordings at the British Library and a contributor to Caught by the River’s last collection, On Nature.
It’s fair to say that over the past two years, Tim Burgess has been a very, busy man. In that time, The Charlatans singer has completed Telling Stories, an autobiography for Penguin Books. He’s launched the bold O Genesis record label, releasing a series of 7″ singles that reflects Burgess’ own diverse musical interests and his phenomenal crate-digging instincts. That’s not to mention his presence on Twitter, where his Tim Peak’s Diner has become a virtual meeting place for music obsessives the world over. This, alongside his regular eclectic DJ sets, led Burgess to the attention of BBC 6 Music, who commissioned him to produce shows on Christmas and New Years Eve. And then, of course, there’s his new solo album Oh No I Love You, which arguably features some of Burgess’ finest music to date. It’s been a long journey from Manchester to Los Angeles, to a grey part of North East London and Nashville…
In our humble opinion, the greatest DJ in the world. A gentleman, a wit and a dapper dresser, Andrew Weatherall has been responsible for more lost nights on dancefloors than any of the Caught by the River team care to remember. He’s pretty handy in the studio too, having tweaked everyone from Primal Scream to the mighty Fuck Buttons.
Jonny Trunk started Trunk Records in 1996. It has since become one of the world’s cult labels, issuing lost and unreleased film music, library music and esoteric recordings. Jonny spends his time mining the past for rare and nostalgic ephemera which he turns into books, broadcasts, happenings and occasional art. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on film, TV and library music as well as being a total big head, especially when he has to write a short biography about himself.
While myriad influences may have gone in to help make up Toy’s sound, it is a single-minded, propulsive whole that emerges from the speakers. While so much music in the 21st century has been all about the eclectic nature of the shuffle control, it’s clear that Toy are applying a ruthless filter system when creating their own sound. That sound – a sustained attack and release of ever-evolving psychedelia, the group effortlessly meld NYC ’77 to Neu! 75 via Warp Records and Detroit scuzzball rock – has made Toy the most exciting new group in Britain right now.
The Sunday Times described Stealing Sheep as making music with “dovetailing harmonies, sepulchral lo-fi soundscapes and lyrical alchemy”. We describe them as the soundtrack to a campfire session where the Raincoats and Warpaint reinterpret the songs of the Wicker Man. Songs from the band’s debut mini LP ‘Noah and the Paper Moon’ were hammered on 6 Music at the start of the year – the band’s first full length album promises to be a psychedelic-folkadelic masterpiece.
Grasscut‘s debut LP ‘1 Inch / 1/2 Mile’ was one of the knocked-sideways delights of 2010. A mix of the pastoral and the discordant, it occupied a weird space somewhere between a 1920s field recording and a future thinking release on Warp Records, it is possibly the only record we know of that’s successfully sampled WG Sebald and still been retained a sense of pop wonder. Their next LP is due this summer.
“Electronic music that makes you realise you’re alive” The Source magazine
Laura Beatty lives in the middle of Salcey, one of the very few remaining medieval hunting forests in England. ‘The forest’, she says, ‘has provided us with food, forage, fuel, materials for builing and transport – yet it is also the place where we keep our bogeymen, where witches live, and where characters go in and ‘come out wiser or sadder of dead or different’. Her first novel, Pollard, was published in 2008 and won the Author’s Club First Novel Award and was nominated for the 2009 Ondaatje Prize. Her second novel is due out this summer.
Roy launched his hugely acclaimed book Do It For Your Mum at Port Eliot last summer. A longtime Caught by the River contributor, Roy will be telling more tales of his brothers’ band British Sea Power and their Blast First loving father.