Catapult – Summary 7”
Once upon a time I was accused of disappearing into my world of books and films where darkness came too soon. Total nonsense of course. There was music too. But the suggestion was that I was missing out. Total nonsense too. Products have so much to teach us. So many stories to tell …
I’ve got to play this one again. It’s completely brilliant. It’s got exactly the sort of guitar sound we should be aiming for. It’s incredibly trebly. Really, really weird sound. Quite experimental. Serious stuff. It’s got that Factory Records minor characters vibe. In the same vein as those Stockholm Monsters and Wake CDs you’ve been playing. It was in that pile of singles my uncle gave me. Took his advice and dug out the more obscure ones. There’s some classics there which seem to be totally forgotten about. Like Twang. They’re brilliant.
I asked him again about this Catapult single, but he couldn’t remember much about it or them. He thinks the single must be from 1987ish. And that it probably came out on their own label. He has a vague recollection they were incredibly young, and part of the Wolfhounds’ crowd in East London, and that they later had a record out on September Records. He hasn’t got that though. I think he saw the gleam in my eye when he mentioned September Records, ‘cos he said don’t get carried away. He reckons September was horrible. Just like the month. He said they had the Wolfhounds and McCarthy by accident rather any great design. But I think that may just be sour grapes. There were a lot of cliques it seems back then. And he was about as dismissive as you can be of anyone who was not in his immediate circle. He remembers being disgusted seeing Pulp early on because one of the group didn’t have socks on.
I’ve been trying to find out a bit more about Catapult on the internet. But there doesn’t seem to be much information out there. It seems they did a Peel session sometime in 1987, and the line up mentions Martin Stebbing on bass who was in the Wolfhounds too at some stage it seems. I asked my uncle about that too, and he just shrugged his shoulders and said half the musicians in East London were called Stebbing around that time. This is where he gets all misty eyed about Simon Stebbing who was the guitarist in the Purple Hearts. He goes on about them being this literary mod group, and how they were completely ripped off by the Stone Roses, and how the hippy music press were just totally prejudiced. It’s hilarious. I love winding him up.
But that Shola LP is going to be celebrated one of these days as a lost classic. I was reading on one of the blogs about Judee Sill, and it always seems as though we have to read added meaning into her music because of all her troubles. So why not Shola too? Just because she’s a homegrown soul star, somehow everybody passes her by, but Supersonic is one of those back from the brink sets. Music as healing. Redemption songs. Like Kevin Rowland’s My Beauty. I’ve really got into that recently. Especially The Greatest Love of All. That’s totally mad.
I can’t believe the stupidity of some of the emails we got after that blog was posted. Completely dumb. Some of them from people who supposedly were in tears about Dan Treacy’s return, and that was just a mess. They just have this dumb notion that all the UK r’n’b stuff is mass produced fodder when in fact it’s the real underground. And with this record Shola had gone back to her roots, and produced something that was pretty raw, and had a little bit of the UK garage thing about it. And it was such a great story about how child star Shola suffered after her great second record was ignored, and got involved with all the wrong things, got bad press, got dropped by her record company, and battles back from the brink with one of the great defiantly independent UK soul records. If she had been white and hung round with Kate Moss she’d be canonised by now. Makes me so mad.
And people really don’t realise how serious we are about getting the best of a clash between the walls of ringing guitars that make the ears sting and the programmed beats and electronics that we’ve soaked up from listening to so much r’n’b and garage. It’s just a combination that’s not been exploited anywhere near enough. I really think we’re on to something.
Hey that reminds me did you see that Shola’s sister Sadie has her single out now? We need to get people listening to that song Fallin’. It’s something special. And one in the eye for people who go around saying garage is all over. Like people say nothing new’s being created with guitars. It’s a joke really that no one else seems to be exploiting the bonds between garage sounds like Catapult and two-step.
For some reason I keep wondering about asking my uncle if he’d be interested in managing us. But I think I’d be wasting my time. He claims he doesn’t want anything more to do with the music business. Mind you he can’t give up buying records. He seems to be obsessed with old school drum ‘n’ bass at the moment from what I can gather. Rants about how all the trendy dubstep LPs are revivalist rubbish, and they need to listen to old Reinforced stuff to understand what’s what. I think it’s hilarious. He was so excited about finding the first Polar CD for under a pound in a charity shop. He’s got this old CD walkman, and uses this travelling to all these high powered meetings, looking ultra respectable, and all the time he’s getting off on this mad old music. It’s like an old clip from Only Fools And Horses. You can’t whack a good bit of the Omni Trio. Excellent.
© 2007 John Carney