Caught by the River


24th March 2018

Our latest roundup of the writing, music and miscellany we’re digging here at CBTR HQ

In Pursuit of Edward Thomas: On BBC Radio 4, in a programme produced by our good pal Tim Dee, poet and editor Matthew Hollis follows a journey Thomas made by bike in the spring of 1913 from London into south west England.

Jill Lepore, writing in The New Yorker, makes a case for remembering Rachel Carson as ‘a poet of the sea’ – ‘She could not have written Silent Spring if she hadn’t, for decades, scrambled down rocks, rolled up her pant legs, and waded into tide pools, thinking about how one thing can change another…All creatures are made of the sea, as Carson liked to point out; “the great mother of life,” she called it. Even land mammals, with our lime-hardened skeletons and our salty blood, begin as fetuses that swim in the ocean of every womb.’

Reasons To Be Cheerful – David Byrne shares thoughts, images, and audio to remind us that the world isn’t all bad. He writes: ‘I imagine, like a lot of you who look back over the past year, it often seems as if the world is going straight to Hell. I wake up in the morning, I look at the paper, and I say to myself, “Oh no!” Often I’m depressed for half the day…As a kind of remedy to this, and possibly as a kind of therapy, I started collecting news that reminded me, “Hey, there’s actually some positive stuff going on!”‘

Whale bones and wintry wilds: Annie Worsley gives a welcome update on her life in North-Western Scotland – ‘The cetacean’s bones are big and beautiful, and almost too human in form, so I feel its loss deeply.’

Over on Google Arts & Culture, a selection of images from the Historic England Archive shows the wealth and variety of buildings of faith and belief that can be found in England – from Christian churches and chapels through meeting houses, synagogues, gurdwaras, temples, mandirs and mosques.

You’ve probably noticed that we’ve completely flipped on the brilliant new Erland Cooper record, Solan Goose. Over on Run Riot, Erland discusses the album, the landscape and bird life of Orkney, and finding calm in a busy city, with Clare Archibald. His stint on BBC 6 Music’s Freakzone is well worth a listen too.

On his Your Heart Out blog, Kevin Pearce sings the praises of Penny Reel, documenter of early North and East London mod culture.

Gumba Fire, a new Soundway compilation of 1980s Bubblegum Soul and synth-boogie from South Africa, is proving very popular on the office stereo.

In the unlikely event that you haven’t already laughed and cried (laughing) your way through David Marchese’s outrageous Quincy Jones interview, we strongly suggest you give it a read.

And last but not least is this, from Stick in the Wheel. If you dig it, you should probably come and see them on our Port Eliot or Good Life Experience stages this summer – we like them so much we’ve asked them along to both.