Catherine Wheel 'Happy Days' 2xLP
Formed in Great Yarmouth in 1990, Catherine Wheel – singer guitarist Rob Dickinson, guitarist Brian Futter, bassist Dave Hawes and drummer Neil Sims – are possibly one of the greatest lost bands of that fabled decade - Swimming against several tides, they were loosely defined as 'shoegaze', and failed to fit in with the grunge or britpop movements in those years.
They were of a size and scale to be supported by the upcoming Radiohead. Melody Maker said that Radiohead were like Catherine Wheel as they "function along a similar catharsis/contrivance axis, ladling existential angst into skilfully imposing song structures."
1995's Happy Days found the group travelling further into a hybrid of heavy metal and improvisation – certainly with the addition of Mark Feltham (from Nine Below Zero) on harmonica, who had added his distinctive sound to the later Talk Talk albums, the group create a mesmerising sound on the more ambient tracks, offering a clear pathway to later groups such as Mogwai. There is still room for some anthemic shoegaze, however, on tracks such as Shocking and Judy Staring Up At The Sun, which features guest vocals from Tanya Donelly.
This re-issue replicates the original 1994 Fontana UK 2LP release with gatefold sleeve and bonus track "Glitter" and is pressed onto high quality 180g black vinyl.
Catalogue number: UMCLP045
Label: UMC / Proper