Observations: Fishing: the new rock'n'roll

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

It used to be that well-off rockers earned their dosh, then headed to rural retreats – the lifestyle Blur lampooned in "Country House". The epitome of the hellraiser-turned-backwoods-squire was the Who's Roger Daltrey with his trout farm. Now, though, messing about on rivers is being refashioned as a refuge from 21st-century life for disenchanted urbanites. Heavenly Records, the label that gave us the gritty Manic Street Preachers and London-worshipping St Etienne, have published a book of bankside reveries.

Named after a song by Doves, Caught by the River arises from a fishing blog with the same title founded in 2007 by Heavenly staff, including label boss Jeff Barrett. Some names you might expect, like punk historian Jon Savage on the Thames with the Sex Pistols or Irvine Welsh musing on courtships by the Forth. Others, less so: take Jarvis Cocker piloting an inflatable boat on the Don or Underworld's Karl Hyde by the Severn.

Now its founders are taking their rods and tackle on the road, with dates at literary festivals in London and Port Eliot. At the Southbank Centre, the anglers have a night of spoken word and film with nu-folkies the Memory Band performing The Wicker Man soundtrack in the foyer. Then they host their own tent at Cornwall's eccentric shindig, with a mixed bag of performances, including a solo set from the Magic Numbers' Romeo Stodart, Bob Stanley on the decks and a display of fly-casting. It's only coarse fishing, but they like it.

CBTR are at the Purcell Room, London July 11; Port Eliot Festival, July 24-26