A couple of weeks ago we (Heavenly & Caught By The River) headed up to Anstruther in Fife for the Fence Record collective’s annual & (for the time being?) final Homegame. Much like the Port Eliot festival in the summer this is a weekend & event I’ve been going to for the last few years & long for again as soon as their over, defining times of the year when everything feels just right. Normally taking place around Easter but this year a little into the Spring it marks my first weekend away after the long, & this year especially long tea time of the soul that is the British winter.
For me this is where the year begins again. To arrive in Anstruther harbour up there on the east coast of Scotland being met by the medicinal Leuchars westerly 5 decreasing 4 or 3, visibility fine, rain later, is the best. To know I’ll be spending the next 3 days nesting in the pubs & village halls of the town & neighbouring fishing village Cellardyke, listening to all things Fence related and walking off my hangover on the Fife coastal path is an added bonus, the fish and chip shops aint bad either — Anstruther Fish bar — UK WINNER: Seafish Fish & Chip Shop of the Year 2008/09! & yep, it really is that good.
We were honoured this year to be involved in some of the programming. A Saturday afternoon with Heavenly & friends in the Cellardyke Town Hall & a Caught By The River Sunday session in the cozy confines of the Rugby clubs social club. We fielded a superb team of culture fueller’s across the 2 days, here’s the formation;
Sunday: Ivor Cutler tribute; Carwyn Ellis, James ‘Conquering Animal’ Scott, Kathryn Williams, Johnny Pictish. Poetry from William Burns. Nature disco compiled by Jeff Barrett and pre-mixed by Time & Space Machine’s Richard Norris with the afternoons proceedings hosted & excellently held together by Kieran Evans.
Places of much of our interest: The Dreel Tavern, Masonic Arms, The Smugglers Inn, Anstuther Fish Bar, Eastern Touch, Legends (Chinese restaurant by day – nightclub by night), Anstruther Town Hall, Cellardyke Town Hall, Cellardyke fishing harbour, Fife Coastal path to Creel & the right royal pop up shop / merch stall in the Murray library.
So after 8 years of hosting a Homegame in their hometown & with Johnny (Pictish Trail / Silver Columns / Fence Collective) moving over to the Isle of Eigg, they’ve decided to call it a day on the festival. However after a successful trial last September ‘Awaygame’ will be taking place again later in the year back on the Isle of Eigg. A kind of natural evolution for a label that knows how to fortify & bottle the good stuff then happily pass the bottle round.
A huge thank you to everyone who ventured up to perform over the 2 days, the performances really were something else, thanks to Nickie Divine who took these great photos at the Caught By The River afternoon on Sunday. Love & thanks to Johnny & Kenny & the whole Fence collective for doing what you do & inviting us up.
… Let me leave you with this little gem from Kathryn Williams, the Ivor Cutler cover ‘Beautiful Cosmos’, one of my highlights from the weekend …
Kathryn Williams — Beautiful Cosmos by heavenlyrecordings