Good things to listen to, read, admire and attend

From Glen Dye Cabins and Cottages co-founder Charlie Gladstone.

Do you ever have that thing where, at the beginning of a new year, you think “this year cannot possibly produce so much good music/podcast/art etc as last year!’ I always do.

And then, of course, the year presents endless amazing stuff. This year is already off to a fantastic start…

On our cultural radar this week

Some good podcasts

Both of these are on BBC Sounds. I do a lot of driving between Glen Dye and Hawarden; it’s a 7 hour journey on a good day. I very rarely listen to music in the car because I tend to get drowsy if I do. I make a few calls and then listen to podcasts and audiobooks, which I find really eat up the time.

I think that the first great series of the year is the second of Jon Ronson’s Things Fell Apart.Ronson is one of the best pop journalists and broadcasters in the world and pretty much everything that he’s done is great. This is a series about the origins of various culture wars, and is focused on those battles that emerged during Covid. That sounds a bit dry, but it really isn’t.

I also loved Bill Drummond’s Graceland in the Glens. Drummond, like Ronson, is one of a kind, a man who has had several number 1 records, managed various of the best bands to ever emerge from Liverpool, written some fascinating books and burnt a million quid.

I was lucky enough to work with Bill as his music publisher when he and Jimmy Cauty were launching The KLF and so follow everything he does with interest. I am very much a footnote in his story, but a proud one nonetheless.

This is the unlikely tale of Bill’s ancient tower in Northern Ireland, his love for Elvis Presley and the community that surround him at the tower. It’s eccentric for sure and occasionally nonsensical but we desperately need true mavericks and Drummond is -indeed- one.

Music 

Another band that I was lucky to be involved with was Radiohead. They supported the band I managed for 30 dates on a tour. It was before Radiohead’s first album, and I had no idea how good they would become. In truth I think that my band -being much bigger than their support act at the time- were a bit snooty towards Radiohead. But, hey ho, Radiohead have been one of the biggest and most important bands of the intervening 30 years, so they win!

I haven’t had time to truly immerse myself in The Smile’s Wall of Eyes, but I know that it’s very good indeed. This is a project by two of the lynchpins (can I say the lynchpins?) of Radiohead, who may or not be finished as a band. Anyway, it’s a complex and experimental record with some exceptional melodies that you have to work at for while. One of the lead singles, Friend of a Friend, may well make it onto my best of 2024 list; it’s what might have happened had Radiohead and The Beatles formed a supergroup.

A song that keeps on giving. True Love Will Find You in The End.

The (recommended below) documentary series American Nightmare ends with a cover of Daniel Johnston’s extraordinary True Love Will Find You… I was aware of excellent cover versions by Wilco and Sonic Boom, but I hadn’t heard this one (indeed I hadn’t heard of the band) by Headless Heroes. Anyway, it turns out that there are loads and loads of covers of this rare and beautiful song. Have a listen.

A noteworthy book…

Have a look at this book!

I’ve been reading The Bee Sting on and off for a month now. I really like it, but it is very long and I keep being distracted by other things. I was in Labour and Wait the other day and picked up a copy of Letters to Michael, a father writes to his son, 1945-1947, Charles Phillipson. It’s packed with drawings, wisdom, love and melancholy and is lovely.

Buy it here

Friends of Glen Dye

Craftspeople and Artists that we work with.

Do you know the extraordinary work of part-time NHS doctor and multi-dimensional artist Joseph Dupré? We have recently commissioned two of his ceramic pieces for our New Art in The Temple of Peace exhibition at Hawarden. This is now closed but the exhibition will move to the extraordinary church (featuring the last window to be designed by Edward Burne-Jones, no less) in Hawarden this Spring. Find out more here. Robbie Lawrence is a friend of one of my daughters and came to stay with us at Glen Dye this new year. He’s a Scottish photographer who is publishing his first book A Long Walk Home in April. It is a lyrical investigation into belonging and a meditation on Highland Games and their role in communities. This is as far from tartan-clad shortbread as it’s possible to get. You can pre-order the book here.

An Exciting Exhibition

Coming (very) Soon!

Frank Auerbach at The Courtauld, London. I feel that Auerbach is underrated or at least unknown. Until recently I thought he was dead, so it may be my perception that’s off. And yet is one of our finest portrait artists. I have been doing a bit of a deep dive into his work recently. This show features several large charcoal drawings. The Courtauld is a lovely gallery and their shows are always worthwhile, so do think about going.

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Good things to listen to, read, admire and attend

From Glen Dye Cabins and Cottages co-founder Charlie Gladstone.

A conversation with Pip Delamere-Wright

Wild Wellness Instructor at Glen Dye and Britain’s first female Army Commando, Pip recently featured in Channel 4’s Alone UK.