This September, we’re properly excited to return to the Gladstone Estate in North Wales for a weekend of music, talks, workshops and dancing at Camp Good Life 2022.
With the folding of Port Eliot followed by the vacuum of the pandemic, it’s safe to say that we’ve missed our summers of crossing paths with readers, contributors and friends old and new.
Formerly known as The Good Life Experience, Camp Good Life returns this year with a whole weekend programmed by us across two stages, plus campfire cooking and great food and drink offerings courtesy of the Good Life crew. Whether it be eels, triple harpists or small hours disco records that tickle your fancy, we hope you’ll pull up a fireside pew and see the 2022 festival season to a close in true Caught by the River style.
Gates open at midday on Friday 16th September, with proceedings kicking off soon after (so get down early!). Entertainment runs until 6pm on Sunday 18th September.
Peruse our lineup in detail below.
FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER – MUSIC
Cerys’ music was brought to our attention by Heavenly artist Gwenno. She is a triple harpist, pianist and composer from Mid Wales. Her music is inspired by anything from nursery rhymes to the sound of the rain and she uses techniques and effects on the triple harp to evoke the sound of both the language and weather of Wales. She is also a contributor to Welsh Plural: Essays on Future of Wales, from which she will read later in the weekend.
Molly is a songwriter and guitarist from the West Midlands. Making records for the greatest bothy-based label in the world (Lost Map), she creates atmospheric, captivating and personal songs, led by melodic guitar lines and lulling yet hypnotic vocals. For fans of This Is The Kit, Cat Power, Anne Briggs and Nick Drake.
Fran is a singer, songwriter, producer, choral composer and sound artist from London. Her work is centred around the importance of having a voice and enabling others to do the same through her creative and facilitation endeavours. Described by Dazed as ‘one of a kind… she is currently carving out a niche of her own, creating music that all at once manages to be ethereal, empowering and perfect for a sing-along’. Perfect for Friday night then.
An artist and producer born in West Yorkshire and based in South London, Laura Groves is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who explores themes of inner worlds, healing, connection, imagined environments and real-life surroundings. Her music mixes traditional songwriting with experimental synthesised sounds and textural electronic layering. Now signed to Bella Union, she has previously released killer records on XL and DEEK Records, created with long-time collaborator Bullion.
DJ Pete Fowler
The Monsterist himself, artist/Seahawk and our favourite party DJ Pete Fowler has been providing music to blame the next day’s hangover on at more Caught by the River events than we can remember.
FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER – TALKS
Eels with Michael Malay and Luke Thompson
The perfect opening to any Caught by the River weekend, as a pair of avowed eel enthusiasts — site contributor Michael Malay and Guillemot Press founder Luke Thompson — share their enthusiasm for everybody’s favourite snake-like, catadromous fish.
Zaffar is a former Faber New Poet (from the same vintage intake as Will Burns) and a familiar face at many Caught by the River events. He has a new collection coming soon.
Author of a recent CBTR book of the month, Peter came to our attention when we were pitched a copy of Strandings: Confessions of a Whale Scavenger — an illuminating and fascinating book about a deeply strange obsession. Peter is in conversation with author Ali Millar.
SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER – MUSIC
Band Pres Llarreggub
North Wales’ very finest brass band ensemble, Band Pres Llarreggub’s music invokes the sumptuous flavours of New Orleans marching bands thrown in a tumble dryer with Bronx-inspired hip hop and Welsh language pop music.
The Ivor Novello award winning songwriter Simon Aldred makes a very rare solo live appearance at Camp Good Life 2022. Celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of his peerless debut album Thirst for Romance, Simon will be performing his favourite songs from that album and the other two Cherry Ghost records released on Heavenly.
Hawkline — Huw Evans to his mates — will be performing with his full band, playing long-promised new music. Multi-talented Huw is also an accomplished designer, having recently put together album covers for Aldous Harding, Cate Le Bon, Gwenno and Katy J Pearson.
The latest addition to the Heavenly family, Manchester rapper OneDa seamlessly manipulates both old school and new school hip hop styles into one massive, unique, party-starting whole that promises to shake the foundations of Hawarden Castle.
DJ Kath McDermott
Kath is a true veteran of the Manchester club scene, having been at the decks for 33 years DJing in every den of inequity the city has had to offer during that time. She has been resident at queer jamboree Flesh, Paradise Factory and more recently at Homoelectric. Although she still loves playing out, most of the time when she is near bass bins she would rather be dancing like a loon than having to concentrate on putting on records. Couldn’t have said it better ourselves, we salute you Kath McDermott.
SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER – TALKS
Longtime Caught by the River contributor Richard King’s essential new book, Brittle With Relics, is a landmark history of Wales between the early ’60s and late ’90s. He returns to the Gladstone Estate to talk about the roots of modern Wales with writer and editor Darren Chetty.
Jude Rogers: The Sound Of Being Human: How Music Shapes Our Lives
Writer and broadcaster Jude Rogers’ fantastic first book, The Sound Of Being Human, explores the reasons “why music plays such a deep-rooted role in so many lives, from before we are born to our last days”. Jude will be in conversation with Emma Warren, talking about music’s power to help us tell stories.
The Stone Club with guest Rhys Mwyn
Stone Club describe themselves as “a place for all stone enthusiasts to congregate, to muse and most importantly to stomp to stones”. King and queen of the stone age Matthew Shaw and Lally MacBeth will discuss people’s fascination with Britain’s megaliths. They are joined by the former singer and guitarist of Welsh punk legends Anhrefn, Rhys Mwyn — an archeologist and expert in the standing stones of Wales.
As founder of Devon’s Green Funeral Company, Rupert Callender is the world’s first punk undertaker. His book What Remains? is not only the story of his life and work but also an exploration of our capacity to face death with courage and compassion. Rupert will be in conversation with longtime Caught by the River contributor and regular quiz master Roy Wilkinson.
Ali Millar was born into the Jehovah’s Witnesses in a town in the Scottish Borders. Growing up in a frightening, cloistered world, she started to question the ways of the Witnesses, and their control over the most intimate aspects of her life, finding herself tormented by one question: is it possible to escape the life you are born into? Ali will be reading from The Last Days, her incredible memoir about life inside, and outside a religious movement.
Welsh (Plural): writers on the future of Wales
Welsh (Plural) sees Welsh writers Darren Chetty, Cerys Hafana, Grug Muse and Andy Welch offer imaginative, radical perspectives to take us beyond the clichés and binaries that so often shape thinking about Wales and Welshness — rugby, sheep, rolling hills and the 3 Cs (castles, coal, and choirs).
SUNDAY 18 SEPTEMBER – MUSIC
A second chance this weekend to see the wonderful Cerys Hafana (or first chance if you’re late, or a day-ticket holder).
Group Listening are Stephen ‘Sweet Baboo’ Black and Paul Jones. Their debut album Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol.1 was a collection of ambient works — from the likes of Brian Eno, Arthur Russell, Euros Childs and Robert Wyatt — arranged for clarinet and piano. The just-released Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol.2 follows up with reimaginings of songs by Neu!, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Robbie Basho and Laraaji.
Michael Head And The Red Elastic Band
A warm welcome back to a big favourite of everyone at Caught by the River, a previous headliner from 2017. Michael Head has been one of the country’s most consistently brilliant songwriters since the 1980s, when he fronted The Pale Fountains and then Shack. His new album Dear Scott, produced by Bill Ryder-Jones and out in May, is another career best in a career of bests.
SUNDAY 18 SEPTEMBER – TALKS
Bob Stanley’s follow up to Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop is a prequel that charts the birth of said modern pop music, from back before The Beatles, Elvis and even the 7” single. Bob talks to Emma Warren about the brilliant and authoritative Let’s Do It!
The Instant is the follow-up to Amy Liptrot’s 2015 classic The Outrun. It’s a frank and luscious look at the addictive power of love and lust and also an exploration of the cycles of the moon, the flight paths of migratory birds, the mesmerising power of Neolithic stonework and the trails followed behind by a generation who exist online. Amy is in conversation about the book with author Terri White.
Helen Mort & Anna Fleming
Friend of the River Helen Mort is a poet, a mum and an avid rock climber. Here, she talks gripping the great outdoors with Anna Fleming, author of Time On Rock: A Climber’s Route into the Mountains.
Hazel Press presents Alys Fowler, Jess McKinney and Helen Mort
Hazel Press is a truly independent publisher that only sells through independent bookshops and publishes texts with a focus on the environment, the realities of climate change, feminism and the arts. We’re very proud to welcome three of their poets — Alys Fowler, Jess McKinney and Helen Mort — to Camp Good Life 2022.
Tickets for Camp Good Life 2022 are available here.
Both Caught by the River newsletter subscribers and membership holders can bag themselves discounted weekend tickets for the next month — check your email inboxes for details.