The modern age is horrible. That’s a given. But there are some positive aspects to it.
Take being in a band for instance. You can now do it all for “nothing” and on your own terms. You can make believe and day dream and it’s all that little bit more “real”. Part of being in our band is trying to have all the good bits without any of the bits we don’t want. We can write as many songs as we want, record as many albums as we want, draw as many covers as we want, shoot our own videos, release stuff on our record label. We can play one show a year and pretend it’s Wembley.
To quote Robert Pollard (as is obligatory), what we do is
“count the days that we have wasted from the start speak the words and build a playground in [y]our head[s].”
We know we’ll never play Top of the Pops, we know our greatest success is probably behind us (thanks Gideon Coe), we know we’ll never actually be a successful band but we can pretend and we can dream.
So in that spirit we present what is perhaps the world’s first fan-fiction for an album, the one and only SOAP. Yes, it’s slash-fic for the 33 1/3 series, the Continuum series where a writer chooses a “classic” album and writes about it in depth. There’s been about 80 of these bad boys.
Max knew no one would write one about us so, in carrying on in our delusion, we prefer the term “building a playground in our heads”, he wrote one himself as a Christmas present to us all. Enjoy.
SO CLAW/SOUR CROW
On Monday 19th September 2011 Cath’n'Dad Records were very proud to release So Claw/Sour Craw, two ten song albums written and recorded at the same time. They’re an eclectic mix of eclectic, hooked filled indie-pop with echoes of Galaxie 500, The Wedding Present, The Field Mice and our usual old favourites. This time the songs are about, amongst other things: Vaslav Nijinsky, being frightened of going out, Bill Clinton and toothpicks. We recorded the songs in London (and a little bit in Leeds) between Autumn 10 and Summer 11 and invited along a few friends to flesh out our sound.
Listen To: Japanese Capillaries Duet Knots
The final release by Cath’n'Dad records before we unleash the double monster that is “So Claw/Sour Crow” on the world. This badboy is a collaboration between one John Perry and Wednesday Club collaborator Oliver Robinson.
I first knew of Oliver Robinson way back in 1998 when we went to big school and he had bleached blonde hair and I played rugby and had a skinhead. We first talked in 2000, arguing the relative merits of The Smashing Pumpkins (him) and The Smiths (me) – as I recall we both got very angry. Then in 2002 we started talking music, Oli was one of the few people who liked my outre keyboard-played–wth-feet recordings. For the next 3 years Oli became my musical director and I, well, I listened to his songs. Then we formed a band with some other people. Then that band broke up and then… In the summer of 2008 Nir (vana) were born!
Ah those gilded days, as we strummed away on our respective guitars, talking of a future we knew would never come but we yearned for any way. Nuzzling into each others bellies and drinking sweet tea by the lake. Memories.
But I digress, this was to be a straight musical collaboration between me and he. Firstly we recorded an album of twenty minutes length one balmy summer day in 08 after hearing our friend Geoff Peff’s album “Suggestions Excerpt”. Then we tried to do it again the year after but only got half way because I was too miserable and had to go home. Then we tried to do it again later that year but Oli was too tired and had to have a nap.
Then I started to send Oli “raps” I did and he made beats for them. Folk was so over. Then it was tacitly agreed I couldn’t rap and we never spoke of it again.
Enjoy – Horsey by Nir (vana)
John Perry, September 11
Cath n Dad is proud to announce the release of Zum Henker: The Cinderella Demos, a collection of demos recorded by The Medusa Snare before the release of “Cinderella” . Fuzzier and faster than the roomy production Oli “Samsa” Samsa put on the album – a welcome companion to the album proper. They’re seriously awesome. And Free.
The Medusa Snare, those were the days, aye? Feedback and noise and pubs and gigs in work clothes and kicking a ball around in a park and sitting around drinking and… It was the summer of 2008 and I had just returned from Japan. Adam John Miller was forming a new band, same as the old band, Shaun had flaked, was I in? You bet I was!
So there began The Meduse Snare Mark 2 – Mark 1 had already played a gig as a two piece; Eddy Lines drumming, Adam screeching, squalling and shredding his guitar. It was great but they needed more, more, more…
So the bolstered MS Mk2 played it’s first gig back in those heady days, the band comprising Adam, Eddy, Max and myself – 3/4 of The Wednesday Club, 3/5 of the line up of the (almost) original Leo Trout and half of The Manhattan Love Suicides. It was a strange, heady brew.
We played a couple of gigs, half rehearsed, the chords for songs in front of me, feedback way up, changing chords maybe a little uncertainly but we had something – whatever that thing was.
Fast forward a short while, we continued this way for about 6 months; playing and practicing sporadically, a few hit and run gigs wowing punters. Max’s squealing, hooky leads, Adam’s powerful bass, my roaring rhythm and Eddy’s rock solid drumming. We were good but something had to change.
Eddy, a busy man, was out Moz and Rachel were in. The Medusa Snare Mk 3 had begun. Still half of the Manhattan Love Suicides, the unit began rocking harder and playing farther and wider, ripping holes in walls with their blasts of noise. Whilst not quite the player Eddy was Moz and Rachel more than made up for it by being two people and looking GREAT on stage.
But alas something in a unit as volatile as this, combustible as MS Mk3 was, had to explode and those things were Max’s ears. And so the 4 piece Medusa Snare began.Could they be as powerful as before? You bet, Adam and myself turned up their guitars and turned down their restraint and the bright lights beckoned.
The Brudenell, The Cardigan Arms, The Library Pub, OPorto. We played them all.
And like all good things it had to come to an end. Adam and Moz saw the bright lights of London, were enthralled and then swallowed whole; John was lost at sea, taking in the coast at Brighton and as for Rachel? Well that’s a story best told elsewhere.
As for the future who knows? Medusa Snare Mark 5 may come and kick a few doors in, hit and run style, dressed in leathers, guitars roaring and sunglasses bedonned. Stranger things have happened.
But for now we have have these recordings, raw fast, hard and powerful. Best gum up your ears ‘fore they bleed.
John Perry, August 2011
Portrait: Max Broady 06 – 10
Cath’n'Dad Records is proud to present it’s first release – Portrait: Max Broady 06 – 10.
This is a collection of Max’s songs cherry picked from 5 (count ‘em) albums. All the songs were written and recorded concurrently with Max’s stint in the ‘Club. A must for any fans of music.
Max Broady, once a callow youth and now a callow man. How the years have changed him. Presented in chronological order this chronology begins by showing us Max as a young man optimistically declaring “Souls are Stars” to anyone with the ears to listen. If you sniff very, very hard you can almost smell the slightest waft of incense.
Quickly, under Adam John Miller’s tutelage, Max began to grow as a songwriter, in leaps, and dare I say it, bounds. Hit after hit poured from his fast callousing fingers. We can still hear the sense of fun and his joie de vivre, his lust for life, in such songs as “My Private Joke” – it is a joke after all! But – listen – what’s this? A new sense of introspection, as this joke is looking inwards, revealing, yes, his soul, as it this joke is private, and all of his own.
But it wasn’t all looking in; Mid Period Broady (MPB) saw Max gazing out at the world, and imagining – nay seeing – another one; this aptly demonstrated on such classics as “Another World We Know”. Also MPB shows us a new side to Broady; the one with wandering feet; the one who’s married to the road; the one who’s taking on all comers with an itchy trigger finger.
Which brings us around to Broady’s latest, most stylistically mature efforts: These beautiful, wistful songs see a man approaching old age, time as it ravages, and all the harsh beauty this entails. It isn’t a cakewalk, but as he sings on War Of The Roses, “[he’s] changed his rose, white for red”.
And as with his peers, the final song on this diligent, thoughtful and timely compilation shows that with decrepitude comes a wistfulness. A false nostalgia then, in Goal Scoring Superstar Hero, as Max remembers his youth, not as a goal scoring superstar hero, but as a troubadour, a singer, reflecting our times as a mirror to the soul, unblinking showing life in its dizzying highs and its terrifying lows. And, if that’s not what being a goal scoring superstar hero is, I don’t know what is.
John Perry, July 2011.
NO, YOU BROKE JO’S AMP
Released on Doot Doot in 2007.
Out of the flames of Leo Trout came this album. Recorded between 2004 and 2007, the songs were generally written and recorded in a couple of hours using one mike and a whole ton of overdubs. Whilst not the place to start, this Lo-Fi album is hook filled and pretty fun and contains hits in the form of “Flavours in Your Sinus” and “Metroscope”.
Recorded before Max joined the band, it still features guest shredding from Max and David “King of Folk” Broad.
Listen To: Flavour In Your Sinus Metroscope Tuesday Moon
Soap was released in 2008 on Doot Doot Recordings. We absolutely loved writing and recording this album – a very bright spark in a dark time in our lives (or something) but the critics weren’t as kind – we got “contains moments of genuine rough, alt-folk beauty” – Sandman and “A great line in quirky one and two minute blasts of songs” – Fatea but mainly we got “PRETENTIOUS!” – Sandman.
We decided to see it as an “art project” – which was much mocked but essentially meant that we originally made 54 seperate covers for the album. A good time was had by all. They can be seen here.
Some people (including us) LOVED this album, it is rough and a self-indulgent but well, see what you think.
Featured on this album were… Nick Thoume (pretentious story), Birgitte Roeggen (tootling in the background), Matty Richards (trumpet), Dave Kitchen (background noise) and special guests Kurt Vonnegut and George Orwell (stolen stories).
Listen To: Honeysuckle Let’s Get Megamechanical No’s 1 & 3
Our 2009 album which was described as “a treasure trove of great sounds” (SoundsXP), “joyful, absurd, spirit raising on a gloomy day” (Kitten Painting Blog) and “a triumph in simply doing what you like and having fun in the process” (Leeds Music Scene). The Track “European Veins” was played on Gideon Coe’s 6Music show and on quite a few podcasts.
After the lukewarm reception to Soap we decided that we up the fidelity and make sure the performance were tight and focused. We wrote 5 songs each (apart from Steven’s House which was written a little more collaboratively) and Jack played drums on all of the tracks with drums.
The cover looks a bit like a poo and Steven J. recorded 3 tracks for us. Featured on the album are Stevie Keys (Keys and vox), Birgitte Roeggen (vox), Amyas Varcoe (vox), Louise Phillips (vox) and David Kitchen (vox).