Thursday, October 08, 2009

sweet catatonia (2)

Cerys Matthews has had her ups and downs.

Catatonia made some great 90s indie--"Mulder and Scully" and "Road Rage" for starters--but at the height of the their fame the band self-imploded amid reports that Matthews was sinking into one of those drink and drugs hells you read about now and then in the tabloids.

After moving to Nashville to put her life back together, she seemed to be back on track in 2003 when her first solo album, the "country-tinged" Cockahoop received an amount of critical acclaim.

She rather slipped off the rails again in a few years later with a toe-curling onscreen romance on "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!" (I'm a big fan, obviously), but she's now rehabilitated again as a regular weekday DJ on BBC 6Music.

A couple of weeks ago her new single, "Arlington Way", was (unfairly I think) dismissed by Radcliffe and Maconie as a "Warwick Avenue" wannabe. (It's named after a London street. It's sung by a Welsh woman.) I quite like it though.

I have also, coincidentally, spent many happy hours in the Shakespeare's Head pub in this same London thoroughfare. It serves Courage Best and has a free jukebox.

(There's a rather glossy official video if you want--also a Welsh language version of same (!)--but I prefer this TV studio clip where she sings it live in front of what I'm sure is an appreciatively discerning GMTV audience.)

Also recommended:

See also: Sweet Catatonia (1)


Mondo said...

International Velvet is one of those lost (or overlooked Britpop albums) - it's a sizzler, that's endured.

Love Seed Song what funky shuffle!

Hoops Hooley said...

With you on all that Mondo.

I've been banging on about "Seed Song" since my original post three years ago. Top piano work, eh?

It's from her "Never Said Goodbye" album: Worth a punt...

Wanderer said...

Looks funny having bands on GMTV - looks like a good performance though.
Didn't realise it was Arlington Way as in the Arlington Way with the Shakespears Head and the Harlequin pubs when I first saw the video. Not that easy. Now I see!

Hoops Hooley said...

It's a bit like when decent bands feel obliged to appear on the Saturday night lottery programme (you can see I watch it every week as I don't even know what it's called!) and other such lowest-common-denominator shows. Shame really. (Am I sounding like a Telegraph reader yet?)

I'm not sure the Arlington Way in the video is actually the one we know and love. Looks a bit too glitzy to me. For all we know, she could have just been looking for a good song title and picked the name out of the A-Z! (Not sure she can claim her free pint in the Shakey if that's the case.)


Wanderer said...

Hmmm...there are a couple of poshish looking shops at the top end which I thought I might have seen. Also one bit looked like it might have had the theatre in the background.

But it's highly possible I was trying way too hard and started to imagine things that weren't actually there. :-)