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. At the time the latter seemed like another curio – alongside their investigation of their own roots, SFA have often demonstrated an interest in technological innovation. This century the band had a UK top five album with Rings Around The World and reportedly turned down a million-dollar offer from Coca-Cola to use SFA music in a marketing campaign. Then, in 2010, the group announced they were taking a five-year break. It’s testimony to this band’s vigour that this break was interrupted by a remarkable appearance – in February 2012 they played at Cardiff City Stadium, cranking up before a Wales v Costa Rica football match, a tribute to the late Wales player and manager Gary Speed. Now, break over, SFA are back in full effect. (Listen here)
This impressive Northamptonshire psych-pop quartet have the finest corkscrew locks since a young Syd Barrett – and some of the most sensationally cider-assisted rock since The Wurzels. When Strongbow cider used Temples track ‘Keep In The Dark’ to soundtrack a heavy-rotation TV ad, it helped take the band to the wider world – opening the mass mind to Sun Structures, their invigorating debut album, released by Heavenly Recordings in 2014. It’s no surprise that Noel Gallagher has got on his soap-box to demand increased radio play for tracks such as ‘Shelter Song’, a sinuous 21st-century channelling of The Beatles and The Zombies. The band’s second album is due in 2016. (Listen here)
Sun Ra Arkestra
The space-jazz great Sun Ra – aka Herman Blount – was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but claimed to have come from Saturn, preaching peace. He departed the Earthly plane forever when he died in 1993 at the age of 79, leaving the Sun Ra Arkestra to maintain their founder’s themes of Egyptology, cosmology and Afrofuturism – all allied to a glorious big-band fantasia of massed horns, wildly eclectic grooves and early-adopted electronics. A date on the International Space Station surely beckons, with UK spaceboy Tim Peake no match for such current Arkestra members as Kash Killion and Atakatune (aka Stanley Morgan). (Listen here)
Chris Packham in conversation with Lauren Laverne
After enlivening his TV links on the BBC’s Springwatch by working in a multitude of song titles by The Smiths, The Cure and the Manic Street Preachers, Chris is the wildlife broadcaster perfectly placed to take such a prime slot at a music festival. Chris’s early-years manifestation sporting a Billy Idol punk hairdo on the BBC’s The Really Wild Show maybe suggested a grebe-friendly Gary Rhodes. But this year’s remarkable Packham memoir, Fingers In The Sparkle Jar, reveals a mind to cherish – a far-out thinker lost in truly eccentric rapture to all the sensation and wonder of the natural kingdom. (Read Roy’s review of Chris Packham’s memoir here)
Hailing from notorious Liverpool, the three women of Stealing Sheep are wonderful and sensual UK pop originals. You get the feeling that if they were from Oregon or Delaware they might have been wafted to the higher profile of a Joanna Newsom or Julia Holter. But, two albums in, Stealing Sheep are still waking the world to a bewitching music that switches smoothly from psychedelic pop to the thump of a marching band to an analogue take on contemporary R&B. It makes complete sense that their collective influences range from Can to Gary Numan to the late New York composer Moondog, aka The Viking of 6th Avenue. (Listen here)
Llareggub Brass Band – Super Furry Animals tribute
Watch out! This New Orleans-tinged eight-piece north-Wales brass band say they’re inspired by Bronx hip hop. What’s certain is that they will be opening the Super Furries-headlined Sunday at Caught by the River Thames with an exclusive set of SFA covers. They claim to have first formed in a slate quarry in 2014. Geology students might suggest this is a load of schist. But, nonetheless, this set will make for a perfect start to the day. Does the Under Milk Wood-blagged band name give us hope that DJ Captain Cat will join them on the wheels of steel? (Watch/listen here)
Heavenly Jukebox DJs will play records between the acts.