Hop Delivery Walks

During January 2017 nine 'farm' sites had their hop rhizomes hand delivered and planted.

This page includes a photograph, psychogeographical documentation and audio field recording (with musical instrument) of the eight journey's delivering the rhizomes.

Right: A map showing some of the main sites.

BrightonHopsMap

1. PRESTON MANOR

Hops
5x Fuggle
5x Yeoman

Walk the First, with mbira lamellophone
Wednesday 18th January 2017

George Head Gardener at Preston Manor with Matt
 

Do electric snakes sing of collared doves?

Perhaps taking this journey in January relates to the fact that I found not much interesting on the Brighton Greenway except red hot branches of bare dogwood matched exactly the effectively placed tent homing the increasing poverty of less; no doubt. In lieu of a soft wooden bench I manage to find a cruelly gelid post-Blairite concrete curve to rest and position my wares for recording a brief sound from the mbira lamellophone- my chosen instrument on this journey transplanting hops from Brunswick in Hove to Preston Manor…I sought inspiration from the semi-incinerated Christmas tree behind me and after a short session, continued a little more frost-nibbled onto Preston Circus. Occasionally the olive branch line sound of cooing electric trains warming their commuters’ bottoms in and out of Brighton to and fro provides the white collared dove-men their fact of time. This morning I am surprised they are moving at all and as I fittingly pass the automobile mechanics those trains regularly glide the brickwork zenith hissing justifications upon the viaduct above the al fresco big top of a traffic cross roads. A group of very early and enthusiastic organised boot-camp joggers natter away in their neon and black; they alone would have to pass as my acrobats practicing something-or-other. Flying low nearby the ringmasters of this weird dawn chorus bicycle eco-savvy into office’s regardless. Everything up here merely a solitary mile on North is much more frozen with visible dustings from Jacky frost and rime-glazed ponds. But still those chain lines continue on and I imagine a rusty gyroscope interpolated with a well meant mountain bike wheel hurtling forwards, a flaky croissant circling around the dizzy, reluctant and eschew blue human head off axis. Little would I come to fear “blister heeled Jack” in this park, a little Westie hound flitters past me with a steaming nostril… tennis lessons and a rose garden later I found some successfully planted Christmas trees in the ground and another tent for a homeless person, this one has a different way to impress the Council planners with its ‘in keeping’ as it nests itself greyly so neat betwixt bowling green and pavilion, begging questions on the untidiness of vagrancy and the discourtesy of destitution or the survival of choice. An orange crisp packet gloves the end of an evergreen tree branch like a mid-winter fruit just staining the bleak winter view as rose hips and berries, too cold to be bothered with. Still coos the railway far behind me, I step on crunchy boughs ahead of the world record dozen yews per church yard of St. Peters and real doves keeping warm and asserting themselves find their balance to my stereo morning. Magpies suggest ideas like an unwanted 70s football clapper toy.

Matt Redman


Editing and additional material by Mark Devonshire

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2. THE BEVY

Hops
3x Target


Walk the Second, with botox kazoo
Friday 20th January 2017

The Bevy Community Run Pub
 

TFI Genesis 2.1 Beta

A window cleaning compressor machine is my afternoon fanfare from immediate homestead. Light air wisps this hill a few degrees centigrade under blue skies. This route out is away yet parallel to the main shopping area of Churchill Square. Avoid.

I’m heading to The Bevy community-owned-and-run pub, in whose garden I will plant rhizomes on the slopes of Bevendean just north of town. The singular smell of super skunk smoke by St. Nicolas’ cemetery soon follows; the modern congregation’s censer of choice. This is where early 19th Century hot bath mogul and curry introducer immigrant Sake Dean Mahomed’s skeleton can still be used for shampoo and head massage. His grave reminds me that the pedagogue Google spears through my lack memory like those very ‘erbs fogged way back in ’03 and the central classes did and still do imaginarium themselves into little microwaved Prince Regent morsels. I enter an old telephone box to record sound…only it’s defunct and not yet neo-defibrillated nor community library; this one smells of pissrust and 90s fags. Memories soon re-animate queasy nostalgia for back-to-basics street vandalism yarns on ITV Saturday nights at the Royal Variety type of fare. Out of the quiet functionality and muted laughter of The Open Market passing London Road and towards The Level designated recreation zone traffic becomes hard and sticky. Onto the home straight of Lewes Road a gentleman pleads to his likely other, her eyes wet, red, sore: this can’t be my glorious piping aboard the good ship Lewes Road? If those bellowing sails of twitched curtain sewn from gable windows blow hereof then wrap me close into the tarpaulin and toss me into the drink. No, 20 metres on a muted pleasantness is audibly ‘Friday’ as blessed gentle’s preamble to their allotted two days off with excited murmur. By Machine Mart and the crematorium, shops with net curtains begin to advertise their service’s ‘Cheaper than Town’ gassing a stench of otherness like nothing before attested to this way of spending. A head shop later and stalking past main headquarters for the Brighton and Hove Bus Company, ingredients of greatly increased chitter chatter from youthful lungs and organised chaotic suffocating matter-of-fact public transport signify a different soup. TFI.

Irresistibly, I enter another public phone for aforementioned ammonia scented rib ticklers…alas no feather contacts with bone. Long after I’m dead and longer still as the radiation fades from Washington’s black rain, digital grey and mint squares on the screen will display “To Call Lift Handset” without reply. I’m up by Mithras House of Brighton University, no bull slaying in this Mithraeum but a cannibalism of yours truly upon a cemented foundation from which I utterly fail to conjure some interesting striderous content. Then I remember that instrument in my pocket.

The 45th El Presidente is inaugurated two hours from now it’s only fitting that I panic suckle this pink plastic ‘Botox kazoo’ in the semi-working telecommunications sepulchre under the cool lengthening shadow of the business school…

 

Matt Redman


Editing and additional material by Mark Devonshire

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3. Pylons 1881

Hops
1x Zenith

Walk the Third, with ocarina owl
Saturday 21st January 2017

The Old Brewery - Old Portslade
 

The Right Side of the Sun

09:16. Sunny in La land, abundance of seafront health joggers and I’m recording rhythms of trainers lapping tarmac. Destination Old Portslade, in my bag safely sits a hop of Zenith variety; a peak of persistent AND states in rhizomatic potential on this ever cluefull coil.

Before the so called lagoon I pass Medina house where the Pinky men allegedly praxis subterranean bang-a-rounds. Underfoot there could be guitars and pedals, but I am on the right side of the sun outside Marrocco’s Italian café: hoopleheads like me sup gelato and caffeine. This is once where semi-trailer critic and neo-chap fister Chris Eubank grab-palmed mightily my shoulder as I professionally supported a challenging learning disabled adult. His sure and only comment “That’s a great beard Sir.” left my client laughing, almost puffchoking on his cigarette and he never forgot it.

The linear prom-ordial flat concrete for human designated seaside enjoyment leisure where water-meets-dirt joins up Brighton Marina in the East with Hove lagoon at the base of Portslade four miles to the West. The former half, some bright-on spark decided to re-name in firmly concreted signs proclamations of a funded “Health Walk” patronising our ancestors like a tepid tribute band called The Pro Calmers might for the sensory scooped goop of ear-eye we destine to evolve into.

Public water is available for filling bottles, pet hydration and post dipper ablutions. Discovery of pressure spurting broken water through sarcastic red and white tape wrapping is the weekend and I would like to purchase a stadium prog-rock band ‘Leaky Tap Tour 2017’ T-shirt. For there’s soon another burst tap, just dripping. Water, water everywhere, that to wash your flip flop is being wasted. Then a third, upon immediate observation it appears undamaged, a patient wait realises one drop approximately every twenty seconds does fall. Therefore this leaking tap here gets the bronze award for Councillor Plumber’s bane. The forth tap looked like it had been wetting from the ground pipe but drenched pebbles below were soaked from proper use. This strange narrative suggests something of a descent into functionality unto the fifth tap…and to think this looks really shiny and not at all wrong (like fun run jewellery?). This stainless steel optimism fails me, the recorder captures sound of the button raising after a dry nothing therefore the descent into functionality has become clean and liberal to a simple vacuum. Does this suggest that an original concern with the leaking taps of Brighton & Hove promenade metamorphose into the new original concern of being satisfied with the knowledge that eventually everything will dry up and stop? Passing the empty iron lattice of the 1588 alleged Spanish Amanda alert beacon I mind-wager. €5 these giant bingo cages across the coast will be refuelled with non-flammable wads of old promises printed on campaign leaflets, a recycling drive from the mythical deterrent of communication inverse. A one way semaphore resembling a thumbless fist.

Matt Redman

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4. Tarring

Hops
1 x Bullion

Walk the Fourth, with harmonica
Saturday 21st January 2017

View of Tesco from the off track
 

We Love 2bDruv

The sounds and presence of a donkey on permafrost at Mile Oak Farm and weekender light-aircraft trainee pilots from Shoreham airfield up and low of an eerily febrile sun melt the earwax at both ends of my braincandle à la broche on this expedition over the Downs to Tarring. This audio is more suited to 80s Texas comedy sex festivals than sound-tracking my hardy plant delivery. Then again this hop variety is named Bullion.

There’s no avoiding the beauty of frozen puddles on a restricted byway. The sound of screeching crystals would suit a Foley artist’s fetish for breaking bones and stripped-apart limbs as I channel Christopher Walken’s reluctantly psychic vase vandal Johnny in 'The Dead Zone', shouting “THE ICE...IS GONNA BREAK!” before retorting down heel first. Very few have heard human bodies be torn apart, silver screen illusion stalks imagination based on powerful memories of Sunday supper’s disjointed carcass… So these walking reports I write do prey too; as buzzards soar on highway heatwaves, the vast supermarkets of Holmbush down below me cannot be avoided. Discarded trolleys demarcate downland bridleway and housing estate. I’m forced off course back south and coerced 'burbsward via a crescent road with a caress of the town planner's warm-cupped palm; to the deathnests with me then. A bastard shepherd of undignitas guides to the edge of town’s holy church(s) that are far from super and certainly not markets. But this condemned lamb in muddy cake boots carries homemade sandwiches, a banana and flasked hot-sweet-tea as talismans against the venting doughnut meal-deal behemoths of the unforbidden zone.

Victory is found on a rough track Tesco wouldn’t want discovered. I'm nearly rendered roadkill running the gauntlet to hidden trajectories behind these buildings into an area of the map our feudal gastro-lords would rather be marked ‘beasts, witches and bogswamps’. Up a rough track to a badly labelled ‘Happy View Riding Centre’ I persist against the instincts of modern fear as an innocent wanderer until buzzards reappear, and a friendly blue arrow on a gate. NO PUBLIC ACCESS signs follow; I’m forced back across the A27 in an unforgiving system to another crescent of mealymouthed bungalows and, inevitably, a hairdressers.

Illusory miles of snaking hillside accommodations reward me a wooden footbridge crossing the Adur from where I could have been sniped by time-slipped soldiers guarding the riverbank, in forgotten pillboxes surmounting tern-waded mudflats. A break at Coombes church north of Lancing College reinvigorates.

Suddenly a panic beeline for Worthing, hastily I trespass a crunchy lime-ridden field, I don’t want to get stuck up here when everything starts to glaciate. Recording an out-of-breath harmonica with genuine gasps whilst using a stile I keep my eyes on the prize, reassured that scavengers wont peck them out come dawn's thaw. Concerns with crossing the A27 six times wilted in comparison to the aching near-hour wait at West Worthing for bus replacements back to Brighton. Thank the good shepherd for the little convenience shop opposite and its positive approach to refrigeration.

Matt Redman


Editing and additional material by Mark Devonshire

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INFINITY CLOSE
 

5. Boundary

Hops
1 x Target
2 x Prima Donna Dwarf (First Gold)

Walk the Fifth, with couscous shaker
Sunday 22nd January 2017

Trek Trek

The Sunday morning bells of St. Johns in Hove toll my tread to a site at Old Portslade, in my bag three plants packed tight and secure; the freezing crispy air protecting the rhizomes from unseasonal warmth, quashing a botanical rebellion two moons premature.

Beyond Boundary Road, cutting a rough deal between Sussexes, landed a fledgling cardboard felt-tiled toy-town housing development. The faux-Southern Counties vertical tiling strikes me with joy and fear in equal measure as I gawp at the fresh street sign beside a dead end symbol; the developers have suggested you can do everything possible within the constraints of the perfectly intrinsic INFINITY CLOSE.

Often with such miraculous observations of named places metaphysical imaginations are essentially mundane habits related to foliage, royalty or industry (Two Pines Rise, Victoria Avenue, The Old Biscuit Factory etc). Researching the planning documents via Brighton Council (BH2013/01278) reveals INFINITY CLOSE merely to be Taylor-Wimpey’s nomenclature for building on the “Former Infinity Foods Site“, where once sustainably-sourced wholefoods of an organic nature were gathered and distributed to concerned post-psychedelic consumers.

This cul-de-sac is a benchmark for humourless simple incidental biophysical comedy genius and I wonder how many atoms, if any, of the deceased Douglas Adams Lazarused their way into the build. There’s nothing better these days than to have a line drawn under matters of the expanding universe, especially after labouring mortgage repayments. For INFINITY CLOSE is where all your hopes and dreams encircle as you scrape housing market knowledge into focus; out of the fresh mortar a cute graffito, the name of a firstborn festooning an unset concrete birdbath.

Later on I will record percussion from a homemade couscous shaker, only realising that in doing this I will have been guilty of isolating a wholesale vegetarian foodstuff as beige stars in a sealed black box for a sonically tragic if quixotic pièce de résistance. But as I turn to leave the area I am paralysed on the pavement, stood below a medium-pitched wind of extraterrestrial significance. A polite shadow darkens the smooth Bradstones (“A paving solution as unique and individual as you are!”) and newly laid slime green turf…

It’s a spaceship version of a petite hybrid saloon car; a one-armed and singular-bottomed clerk from outer space descends calmly into one of the bland granite car ports. I’m not shocked or surprised when a trim-bearded E.T. in a clandestine Mekons t-shirt smuggled under office garb tucked into a brown belt like a G.P. (sans tie) unpacks a hessian bag-for-life. He slides habitually into number 5 after cussing at some windswept remnants of a destroyed Buzz Lightyear toy hanging in the plastic goldcrest cypress conifer by the quantum-sonic-cat-scarer (a gift from his uncle after celebrating the festive Lintmoon holiday on his homeworld Boxus IV). Nobody mentions how different his family looks anymore, nobody cares about these quiet gentle coneheads living amongst them. The rivalry with the nasty families over at Entropy Court had dried up in the bottom of the bag long ago and only recalled like private potato tubers desperately craning for the light of soap screens. If only they’d ask over the fence one day, he couldn’t wait to tell them all about how they loaded up the Cruiserᶾ with all their belongings and just took off for a new life, a family out for a ride to find the answers to the biggest questions in the universe. That the Celes-Nav drew them to INFINITY CLOSE.

 

Matt Redman


Editing and additional material by Mark Devonshire

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6. Brighton Marina to Newhaven

Hops
2 x Calais Golding
1 x Prima Donna Dwarf (First Gold)

Walk the Sixth, with xylophone
Tuesday 24th January 2017

 
Matt along Cliffs

Dental Lunges

The dawn chorus; 70,000 pre-job effluent flotsam and jetsam trumpeted sewerage drains out below my ready boots at Black Rock, heralding the new day with an overture of ordure. A carwash pressure hose punishes a hatchback posterior, a water salute of sorts for pedestrians entering this separatist state Marina complex.  Its own brand of jaded autonomy summarises itself clearly on signs:

BOAT TRIPS CAFES EAT SALE DRINK FISH CINEMA BOWL CASINO HOTEL SHOP BARS DIVE PLAY STAY CAFES EAT TREAT MOVIES HOMEWARES ESCAPE RELAX CELEBRATE BURGER STEAK PASTA PIZZA SWIM ALFRESCO FITNESS POPCORN ROMANTIC MEAL FASHION SHOP EAT PLAY IN A HARBOUR OUTDOOR GAMES.

So honest and full of its own existence that it mentions eat, drink and cafes more than necessary? A permanent marker could easily add PRAY and DEFECATE to the list.

My greatest field recording would come here. Barking dogs at the gates to a nightshift worker’s hell; the sound of a closely-tied boat rubbing a pontoon, shrieking with the tide as one maritime hand laments to me:

“Bloody aggravations. It’s like anything, if you live near a railway line you get used to it…seagulls start dancing on the roof as it gets lighter, especially if you’ve just washed your boat.”

My world is better for not tuning out. The disharmony of these fidgeting vessels evoke backward violins in some kind of jazz warm-up combo of a school orchestra and improvised Fluxus experiment to create what is essentially a beautifully authentic mistake to upset people in the expensive flats overlooking the “real” fishing boats. At no point in the aforementioned list does it mention LOVE, LIVE or MUSIC. A calming farewell to this audio extravaganza sees me offsite as a sea lock’s oiled hydraulics influence water with hums akin to a tiny electric Dremel. Just before the white cliffs and rock pools someone repairing the hull of a yacht listens to Lionel Richie’s ‘Still’ and magical daytime television credits roll my exit smoothly.

The chalk and flint veined undercliffs represent natural algicidal millenniums of calcite organism coccolithophore pileups and oceanic attrition from the south-west, not as some leading tabloids claim as with Dover; a wall of Blighty pride to be used in polemical right wing rhetoric crudely associated with a misguided fondness for wartime poetry fetishism, or ballads written by Americans shell-shocked with a circling bluebird fixation.

If I was to create a metaphor for these white cliffs I would propose a Franco-jaw Union: A gaping mouth with its maxilla of Southern England and mandible of Northern France separated by an enormous stinking yawn-belch.

The sound of a disabled toilet alarm at Rottingdean wakes me from peaking early with excitement from earlier epiphanies. An epilogue of this mission notes the curious sign of Peacehaven twinned with Épinay-sous-Sénart and Isenhagen. The last rites of this journey are not played out with a xylophone on the peregrine-nested cliff edge above Newhaven port but the sounds of drills and tools of new flats being built in the harbourside below as I apologise for my belated arrival to Emma, whose hilltop garden on the chalky Downs waits to host three well-rendered Humulus lupulus.

 

Matt Redman


Editing and additional material by Mark Devonshire

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7. Ringmer

Hops
5 x Bramling Cross
5 x Fuggles

Walk the Seventh, with kazoo
Friday 27th January 2017

Glyndebourne
 

Libretto via an Operamill

The scene-cutting bus to Woodingdean just before 8am is for timely travels to Ringmer across the River Ouse to jack-knife north easterly towards my destination: Turners farm housing Franklins brewery via Glynde.

Overcast skies looming are mind-folly compared to the opening song of routine commuter vehicles at convoy-like speed on slightly wet tarmac; a sound coyly shushing itself between home and work. Liquid skylark arias without crossfade interject as the hummock censors ear from road. The small wind turbine later near a giant communication tower creates rhythms of synergistic relaxation to relieve pressure. Mine from the bladder; theirs from the hungry bowel of a buried gas pipeline.

Attempted descent into the next valley errors a 20 minute ‘wrong’ turn into some sort of grouse farm. With their little log cabin shelters amongst so much gorse I could visualise a micro Centre Parcs horror massacre being played out with delicious taxidermic inevitability. Below me a dozen or so people stood near 4x4s look up. On this brand of ‘private’ I fancy my chances rediscovering the law-abiding South Downs Way via a strange Romanesque concrete road between tilled fields.  Due south I spy an industrial chimney in distant Newhaven.  A portly olive green tweeded land baron from some kind of stereotype algorithm approaches me and his moustache asks if I was lost earlier? Bereft of a designated path am I confused or trespassing? There’s no compromise for any word to describe harmless travel detours…, proving the unnerving pressure that as (English) citizens we are expected to always know what we are doing and where we are.

Arborists or zombie-preppers training with chainsaws welcome me ahead of picturesque Rodmell, with its cockerel alerting me to a job halfway done. Excited to cross the bottleneck of river, road and railway all in one neat hit and, enjoying the caged analogue clock at Southease railway station, I determine to share tales of it in the city taverns later.

Multiple high-mileage bipedal sojourns across land conjure regular problems and deep into Glynde a classic country B-road strangles into single-lane suffocation; hemmed in hedgerows becoming a thousand cuts style death-trap every time I hear a car. Grasping at straws of hawthorn doom for leverage to tuck in, a bad brain-ghost reads a dedication upon my hazardous pulverisation: ‘Death saw Glyndebourne Place, its grand entrance and beautiful archways housing the 7th Viscount Hampden…’

I duck into winter-dormant woods instead of being dismembered by a Mercedes and fall over tangled in dry bumblekite and coppiced piles, preferring to be shot at as a prowler. Scrambling through pheasant-managed areas I literally stumble across an unbelievably giant wind turbine. By the information plaque, this thing powers the entire Glyndebourne Opera House. Balderdash: What’s wrong with candles, ice houses, and shouting in a well-designed amphitheatre? Isn’t opera analogue? This place will function after the fossil fuel apocalypse with values to rival ‘Sir Henry at Rawlinson End…’

My mind flows back to the Ouse and a contemplation of inferiority; I partake in a cumbersome televised sequel following Virginia Woolf performing her drupe-like Ophelia contralto for the peasant-submerging opera coats in the Glyndebourne shop are decent pockets devoid.

Matt Redman


Editing and additional material by Mark Devonshire

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8. Gonzalez and Martyn Double Header

Hops
2 x Phoenix
2 x Prima Donna Dwarf (First Gold)
1 x Bramling Cross
1 x Zenith

Walk the Eighth, with mouth
Saturday 28th January 2017

Gonzalez Shoes
 

One Hundred and Eighty-five degrees

From cooing trains, dripping taps, creaking ice, vibrato turbines, a squeaking pontoon to a crunchy field; anything like this sonic text claiming to be ‘crafted’ is a hyperbole onion which, taken down to its underwear, is a form of loungecraft and communication with dry adult tears.

“…my feet hurt I have blisters on my heels and my left knee is done in and I’m almost done” I tell myself on the recorder.

 

Metal footsteps, tactile sores and audible chatter cannot disguise the fact that all this stuff about beer is not about how special an ale is, which breweries have mineral springs beneath them or whether the hops were grown in orbit and hand-picked as much as hand-cut or even hand-popped; beer is about social animals.

Machine noises dominate many of these peregrinations and became unintentional epochs and ultimate responders when transcribing notes from field recordings. Today compressed air forced through breathy train whistles by anaemic Southern Rail controllers and their official announcement hubbubs from the railway station speakers (the same frequency as a race track) dominate the mound above Brighthelmstone, and have done since 1841. That summer the riffraff first arrived from London and forced the established fashionistas to change their alleged vital attendance of canicular passeggiatas on the Old Steine lawns to winter instead, a moribund escape tactic. Oh to be a gull on the private club rooftop when those hoards alighted inebriato, to penché their way into the exclusive and class-divided stronghold health retreat, jigging to the common minstrel whose yellow fingers twaddle out the popular Morris tune ‘Getting Upstairs’ on a woodworm-festered Castagnari Giordy.

On the second highest street; Vere Road is level with the viaduct mentioned in my first walk as some kind of smooth dovecote channel and now at the fullest of circles I can admire how influential these stalkish brick pins inherently were and remain. This straddling feature of public transportation engineering stretching away east-northeast of here has more to say about the story of becoming the ‘place with a reputation’ than anything on the salty promenade. With bathing and dipping void, the coast is essentially a dead end with 185 degrees of non-lethal RNLI-friendly landlubberism and not 360 as advertised by a certain faulty human-roasting phallus-through-toroid deathtrap-in-waiting. If only Branson’s lot had the sponsorship deal over BA, it would at least be something and with flecks of raw crimson corporate identity alerting to honest sores.

Enjoying the amazing Hollingdean Lane which curves gently descending around the side and front of the main recycling works I stop short at mind-scoffing the lack of operational noise with fear of developing an audio trainspotter-type habit disappointment angst. I sing the old ditty ‘I Know Where I’m Going’ to recover, preferring instead to sound like I’m 90 years old next to the kidney-shaped traffic-turning area of a meat distribution store. It’s no accident that as I boomerang from Martyn’s allotment post-planting under rain I whistle Pearl Jam’s ‘Humus’ for no reason other than an earworm habit since the late 1990s when I first drank fermented variants with friends and future coitus.

 

Matt Redman


Editing and additional material by Mark Devonshire

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