Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Normal Service Will Be Resumed

Apologies for the irregularity of the posts over the last ten days or so. We have been working away on going over to a website 'proper' - the plan was to have been up on the 16th - but it's proving to be a bigger job than we thought. Now Glastonbury is upon us and not much is gonna happen before mid next week. So, for those of you who appreciate these things, here's a picture of Jakub and his cracking start to the new season. A beautiful female Tench weighing in at 8.8, caught many hours in to a very long session at Osterley Park;

(Wendy took the photo)

Monday, 23 June 2008

Wild China

One of Caught By The River's favourite writers (and an all round top bloke to boot) is on the BBC tonight and the following three Monday nights. Robert Macfarlane's exploration of China can be heard on Radio 3 tonight at 11pm - will be on listen again tomorrow if yr out and about though... essential listening!

"In Wild China nature and travel writer Robert Macfarlane takes four journeys in Beijing and beyond to find what remains of wild China as the country industrialises at an astonishing pace.

His travels see him take a dip with the ice swimmers of Lake Houhai and explore an un-restored section of the Great Wall where nature is doing what the Mongols never did, by colonising the great man-made fence.

Robert also undertakes a mountain pilgrimage to one of the most dazzling wild places in China – the high peak of Minya Konka

Click here to hear...

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Andrews of Arcadia

ladies and gentlemen

the hunting horn has been sounded on the heath and the mist has
cleared onto another season of coarse fishing. to celebrate this
glorious occasion i have a small number of john richardson 'specials'
- floats to the uninitiated - remaining and for sale on the stall as
well as the usual array of rods, reels and other oddities. from
baitdroppers to blue duns, from centrepins to silk lines you know
where to go when its a thursday. alas, we are still waiting for the
opening of square pie but in the meantime you can splash out on a st
john bacon sarnie - possibly the greatest bacon sandwich of its time.

i will only excuse those of you going to the riverbank and in the
meantime may a fat chub fill your net.

john andrews

andrews of arcadia
vintage fishing tackle for the soul
spitalfields antiques market
commercial street
london E1
(opposite the ten bells public house)
thursdays 7am - 3pm
07980 274 383

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Country Got Soul

Our good friends at the record label '1965'(a fine vintage) continue doing what it is they do best - releasing cool records, flicking the finger, smiling for God's sake - by releasing a new record by Larry John Wilson. His first in many years. It's great too. Really good.

Here are the liner notes and below that there's a link to a website that's showing a film relating to the making of the record. Worth a look.

In June of 2007, Jeb Loy Nichols, Jake Housh, and I met up with Larry Jon Wilson in Perdido Key, Florida to do some recording. Larry Jon knew the area well and when he spoke of it in the months prior to the session, it sounded fantastic and lush. The Spanish named the land, meaning “lost key”, when it was founded in the late 1600s. I’m not sure when Larry Jon found himself there for the first time, but he knows the area like a native. And though the days I spent there may not be “lost”, they’re certainly fuzzy.

Throughout the next seven days, Larry Jon recorded about twenty songs. A man-out-of-time, he told stories about hitch-hiking, hustling pool, being a father, gambling, drinking, women, and friendships, focusing mostly on those he shared with Townes Van Zandt and Mickey Newbury. As Jeb and I poked Larry Jon for stories, Jake was quick enough to roll tape when the narratives turned to songs. Larry Jon never gave us any indication when things were about to begin. He would pick up his guitar, crack open a corner of memory, and play without concern that it was being captured. Often times, at the song’s end, he seemed surprised by himself, like he was channeling some feral piece of his past. Many of these songs he wrote, and the ones he didn’t have now been officially “Wilson-ized”. Only the song “Shoulders” was performed twice; the rest of the album is all first and only takes.

This may not be the best way to make records. There was no order, no schedule, no plan. But we pushed a microphone in front of a man with a guitar and now we have a record. Nobody told Larry Jon what songs to sing (not that it would have mattered if we did). Nothing here is showbiz; there’s no “production”, no glitter. And so, these songs sound like music, like Life with a big “L”, like Larry Jon Wilson and no one else.

Jerry DeCicca

go watch the film



Realise you'll probably be off fishing, but thought you might like to share this. It's a new blog dedicated to old brazilian music videos, and there's some great stuff on there already.

Bosse Filmes

Best wishes

Kevin Pearce

Letter From Arcadia

  • click here for the latest LETTER FROM ARCADIA, a regular correspondence between angling's two most original contemporary writers...

  • Monday, 16 June 2008

    Gone Fishing

    Wishing you all a glorious 16th.

    Back soon......

    Sunday, 15 June 2008

    on my behalf, your brothers in the resistance wish you all a memorable june 16th.
    tight lips

    Saturday, 14 June 2008

    Thursday, 12 June 2008

    Alice Oswald; Dart.

    David Wheatley finds Alice Oswald's river flows smoothly between Hughesian myth and Larkinesque realism, in Dart.

    Like Langston Hughes, Alice Oswald has known rivers. After three years recording conversations with people who live and work on the Dart in Devon, she has produced a remarkable homage to it and them, called simply Dart. The poems of Oswald's 1996 debut The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile were full of well-trimmed lyric borders, reflecting her love of gardening, but no proof against the invading power of water, disrupting our human arrangements and losing itself in itself: "the very integer / and shape of water disappears in water".

    From its burbling beginnings in Cranmere Pool all the way to the sea, Dart is an attempt to give an outline to that disappearing shape, exploring the balance between the river as wild force of nature and biddable resource. But rivers can be many things simultaneously. Heraclitus thought we couldn't step in the same river twice; Wordsworth saw in the river Duddon not flux but continuity, "what was, and is, and will abide". Most of the time, Eliot writes in "The Dry Salvages", the river is "unhonoured" and "unpropitiated", without ever ceasing to be the "strong brown god" of myth, "sullen, untamed and intractable".

    Dart opens with a scene of primal beginnings. An old man of the river lumbers into the poem like Edward Thomas's Lob, and Oswald's constantly shifting metrics take one of their sudden forward surges:

    What I love is one foot in front of another. South-south-west and down the contours. I go slipping between Black Ridge and White Horse Hill into a bowl of the moor where echoes can't get out












    and I find you in the reeds, a trickle coming out of a bark, a foal of a river

    Oswald prefaces Dart with a list of people she's spoken to about the river, but despite this and marginal notes telling us who says what, "all voices should be read as the river's mutterings". Among the local deities muttering with the river's tongue is the King of the Oakwoods, "who had to be sacrificed to a goddess", a pattern the river repeats on later victims like local bogeyman, Jan Coo, and an unfortunate canoeist. Dart is "old Devonian for oak", and Oswald underlines its sacred associations by mutating "Flamen Dialis", the priest of Zeus, into "Flumen Dialis", his river. The substratum of mythic violence is very Hughesian, and like the river of Ted Hughes's 1983 sequence, River, the Dart can "wash itself of all deaths", though after a drowning Oswald follows the dead man's last thoughts with a respectfully blank page ("silence").

    "The water is my only neighbourhood," Sean O'Brien wrote in Downriver, and there is scarcely a line of Dart that does not squelch with riverine ooze. Oswald's delight in the liquid textures of language show how much she has absorbed from the most onomatopoeic of all writers, Joyce. As Tom Paulin has reminded us in a recent essay, water was always central to Joyce's aesthetic. In Ulysses Stephen Dedalus is described as "distrusting aquacities of thought and language", while Mr Bloom is an inveterate "waterlover, drawer of water" and "watercarrier". Hydrophilia wins out in Anna Livia Plurabelle, which Joyce told Arthur Power was "an attempt to subordinate words to the rhythm of water", "the rivering waters of, hitherandthithering waters of" the Liffey. And not just the Liffey: he worked in Oswald's river too, when Anna Livia runs "like a lech to be off like a dart".

    Oswald finds a match for Mr Bloom's descriptive rhapsodies in her water abstractor, verifying his calibration records and monitoring for "colour and turbidity". People are forever sifting the Dart or trying to harness its power: tin-extractors, millers washing their wool and making dyes, dairy workers using the water to cool their milk, not to mention its ecosystem of "round streamlined creatures born into vanishing".

    Like Wisdom Hely's sandwich-board men in Ulysses, Dart gives the alphabet human form when a swimmer spells out what she is doing by visualising her body as an S, W and M. Also Joycean, and Hopkinsesque, is Oswald's delight in the water music of the Dart's "foundry for sounds", "jabber of pidgin-river", and the springy Devonian of words like "bivvering", "slammicking" and "shrammed".

    Not all the Dart is equally inviting for swimmers. Eliot doesn't go into detail about the colour of his "strong brown god", but Oswald properly includes a sewage worker, describing "a rush, a sploosh of sewage, twenty thousand cubic metres being pumped in", overlaying her "sloosh" with the "splash" of all that shit getting dumped in it. From the polluted present she returns to a time "when oak trees were men" and "water was still water", retelling the story of Brutus, grandson of Aeneas, setting sail from Troy for the Dart (a tale that also turns up in David Jones's The Anathemata, a book whose mythic method has much in common with Oswald's).

    The river's classical past survives in the names of boats ("Oceanides Atlanta Proserpina Minerva"), combining with the accounts of fishermen, boatbuilders and oyster gatherers to freight every passing tide with memory, "a whole millennium going by in the form of a wave". Joyce's Anna Livia is careworn and weary by the time she reaches the sea, and the Dart exacts its human toll too, with its old river pilots groaning about their arthritis but unrepentant ("tell me another job where you can see the whole sunrise every morning"). In the poem's last lines 20 seals accompany the Dart out into the sea, and Oswald faithfully records its final Protean transformation:

    With their grandmother mouths, with their dog-soft eyes, asking

    who's this moving in the dark? Me.

    This is me, anonymous, water's soliloquy,

    all names, all voices, Slip-Shape, this is Proteus,

    whoever that is, the shepherd of the seals,

    driving my many selves from cave to cave . . .

    This is a heartening book for all sorts of reasons. Oswald shows that poetry need not choose between Hughesian deep myth and Larkinesque social realism. Dart frequently combines the two, moving in the same sentence from religious invocation to marketing jabber ("may He pull you out at Littlehempston, at the pumphouse, which is my patch, the world's largest operational Sirofloc plant"). She shows, post-New Generation, that wry ironies and streetwise demotic do not exhaust the avaliable range of tonal and thematic possibilities. She offers, in a word, what too much contemporary poetry forbids itself: ambition.

    Oswald joins Ciaran Carson, Iain Sinclair, Hughes and ultimately Joyce himself as one of the great celebrants of the genius loci, the spirit of place, or what the Irish call dinnseanchas, lovingly elaborated topographical lore. According to Stephen Dedalus, Epictetus was "an old gentleman who said that the soul is very like a bucketful of water". Oswald has soul in riverfuls.

    · David Wheatley
    is co-editor of Metre magazine.

    This article originally ran in http://books.guardian.co.uk/Saturday July 13, 2002

    Tuesday, 10 June 2008

    From Cabaret Voltaire to Curlews

    Chris Watson picks his favourite bird song;

    New Order’s Bernard Sumner once explained the inspiration behind his songs: “It’s all about birds isn’t it?” He wasn’t talking about the song thrush or semipalmated sandpiper. It’s difficult to imagine the inspirational but hugely lazy Manc picking up some binoculars and trekking through the woods. But some pop songs really do deal with the feathered mass.
    Edwyn Collins has hymned both the blackcap and black-headed gull in his songs. Bert Jansch named an album Avocet - after the elegant pied wading bird of the RSPB logo. Noble, the guitarist with British Sea Power, gave the name The Great Skua to his soaring instrumental on the band’s recent album Do You Like Rock Music? (The great skua, of course, is a ferocious seabird also known as the bonxie and robber bird). But no musician has moved from rock to birdlife quite as impressively Chris Watson. He was once part of the Sheffield avant-dance group Cabaret Voltaire, but Watson has long since moved on to become one of the world’s foremost wildlife sound recordists. In an excellent free birdwatching supplement from The Guardian and Observer, Watson has selected his 10 favourite bird songs:

    click here

    When Watson talks about the spectral in-flight ‘drumming’ of the snipe and the gorgeous song of the ubiquitous blackbird, it’s perhaps clear this is a man who has surveyed all rock can offer - and found it wanting beside the wonder of the avian world. Anyone who has witnessed the courtship dance of the Slavonian grebe will know that here is display, drama and vocalisation to shame anything you get in the concert hall. With its fierce red eye and outrageous mustard-yellow tufts, the Slav grebe could’ve been the template for Bowie’s Aladdin Sane period. But the grebe didn’t have to daub on red slap or resort to hair dye - and, as far we know, Bowie hasn’t performed while walking on water (or, indeed, learnt to fly).
    Read Chris Watson on the melancholy minimalism of the golden plover or the swallow’s “freeform jazz” and it will perhaps become further clear why musicians from Billy Fury to Elbow’s Guy Garvey have been smitten by the music that fills our skies - all around us, unamplified, astonishing.

    Roy Wilkinson

    Monday, 9 June 2008

    Island Life

    Ended up last week on Lundy. 12 miles out into the Bristol Channel, nearer to north Devon than my native South Wales coast, Lundy is a 3 and a half mile long granite lump and was always somewhere that my Dad went on booze cruises back in the day with my Uncle Dennis and assorted pisshead mates. This was back when much of Wales was still dry on a Sunday. The pub on the island, the Marisco Tavern, adhered to no such rules. The only real problem was that for 7 hours of sailing time to get there you got just 2 hours of shore leave. Weirdly, last week when we went, the daytripping twitchers on the boat didn't seem to have the same desperate rush to get up the hill and into the tavern as we did. Their loss. This scan is from the island magazine from back in the 70s. It sums the place up - very England In Particular, very The Wild Places, very very beautiful.

    Lundy - hell of a way to go for a pint. (RT)

    Seven Days and Counting..

    Andrews of Arcadia

    Friday, 6 June 2008

    Caught By The Reaper

    Jimmy McGriff, April 3, 1936 - May 24, 2008.

    The death of Jimy McGriff this week comes as particularly sad news to those of us who grew up in the 1960s believing that the sound of the Hammond organ was an indispensable element of life's soundtrack. McGriff's passing completes a clean sweep of the decade's big five, following the deaths of Richard "Groove" Holmes in 1991, Brother Jack McDuff in 2001,Big John Patton in 2002 and the most famous of them all,Jimmy Smith, in 2005. (Hard-core Hammond fans might add the names of Roosevelt "Baby Face" Willette, who died as long ago as 1971, and the most original of the lot, Larry Young, who departed in 1978.)
    McGriff was the one whose records implanted themselves most deeply in the hearts of soul and R&B fans, not least because you could dance to them. His early hits, notably "All About My Girl" and "I Got a Woman", were issued in the UK on the impeccably hip Sue label, which Guy Stevens -- the disc jockey at the hugely influential Scene club as well as Sue's visionary A&R man -- made a byword for good taste among mods in the early '60s.

    Another Sue release, recorded in 1963, was the double-sided "The Last Minute Pts 1 and 2", a deliriously funky piece of work on which McGriff plays both organ and piano. Forty five years later, its relentless chugging groove still makes it sound like the signature tune for the late-night radio show of your dreams.

    Richard Williams.

    Ten Days and Counting.....

    Avon Calling by John Richardson, The Two Terriers Press

    Thursday, 5 June 2008

    Eleven Days and Counting...

    Andrews of Arcadia, Antique Fishing Tackle & Books, Spitalfields Antique Market, London E1. Thursdays 7.30 - 3pm

    Wednesday, 4 June 2008

    Twelve Days and Counting....

    dear jeff

    the 16th june. so much has been written about it. below are sheringham's words on the matter and a few other snapshots from arcadia including a john richardson highgate ponds tench float to be used on the very morning.


    Tuesday, 3 June 2008

    Letters From Arcadia

  • click here for the latest LETTER FROM ARCADIA, a regular correspondence between angling's two most original contemporary writers...
  • Caught By The Reaper

    I've got a story I really want to tell,
    About Bo Diddley at the O-K Corral,
    Now, Bo Diddley didn't stand no mess,
    He wore a gun on his hip and a rose on his chest,

    Bo Diddley, December 30, 1928 - June 2, 2008