Monday, March 24, 2008

Singles Going Steady 20: Catatonia

It seems that the nature of Cerys Matthews’ public profile comes in cycles. Bleed, the only Catatonia CD single in my collection, dates from 1996 when the band were very much on the up. This was when Cerys was appearing in photos (like the one on the back of the sleeve) wearing a distinctly unsexy cagoule and jeans. Though they weren’t exactly edgy, Catatonia still had the credibility that comes from newness. This was before Matthews turned into a swaggering, vodka swilling pantomime figure, gracing the tabloids as much as the music press, and her subsequent ‘exhaustion’ surely speeded the band’s demise in 2001.

Two years later she was back, and transformed. No longer a Met Bar casualty, she was newly married with a bun in the oven, living in the Tennessee backwoods. Her debut solo album Cockahoop saw her making music in keeping with her new environment, and it was really rather good. So once again a credible artist. Another two years on, another solo album, but not a huge success, and it was only a matter of time before the tabloid Cerys Matthews rolled round again, this time taking part in bargain basement reality TV show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here last year. The stories were not about her drinking though, more about her on-screen relationship with some dude whose name I’ve forgotten. Anyway, pantomime figure again. Who knows where she’ll go from here.

Enjoy the tune – it’s actually one of Catatonia’s best. And how did they manage to release a single that got into the charts with the word ‘bullshit’ in it? Wouldn’t happen now, for sure.

Download: Catatonia – Bleed

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The radio edit was censored, it wasn't put on the single - it was just on the video and promo CD. They just muted the part of the word where Cerys said shit, so she said bull