Caught by the River

Decoy Point

16th April 2021

Featuring tracks by the likes of King Creosote, Liz Lochhead and Andrew Wasylyk, Lomond Campbell, Kate Carr, Rob St John, Hanna Tuulikki and Ultramarine, Blackford Hill’s ‘Transmissions / Volume One’ charity compilation, benefitting Shelter, is out today. Ultramarine’s Paul Hammond gives context to their included track ‘Decoy Point’, which appears with a new video by Tommy Perman.

Ultramarine were based for a few years at Ian’s home studio overlooking the Blackwater estuary in Essex, and the presence of the river gradually seeped into some of the music we were working on. This influence initially found its way into individual tracks we recorded there and later came together in a broader evolving project called ‘Blackwaterside’. A happy coincidence that helped spark the idea for the project was being invited by the National Trust to play at an event in 2015 on Northey Island — a tiny island in the Blackwater estuary. We wrote a site-specific piece for the performance and also played ‘Decoy Point’, which itself had been influenced by the location. It was a unique opportunity for us to return some music to its source — a humble offering to the Blackwater.


‘Decoy Point’, written by Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond, was recorded live on Northey Island, Blackwater Estuary, Essex on 3rd July 2015 with soprano sax by Greg Heath.
The video was created by Tommy Perman using stills and video footage by Ultramarine’s Ian Cooper and incorporating some of the graphic imagery that printmaker Bronwen Sleigh created for the original ‘Blackwaterside’ 7” vinyl release.

Transmissions / Volume One‘ is available here.