The band had a little bit of influence on the way things sound, in their own modest way…To be accepted in London as a serious group was our main concern…Whatever took the empasis off the individuals in the band was something we embraced…I became the singer, not wanting to be a rock star or the focal point of the band…the guitars were the stars. [Rob Dickinson, Bite TV]
The sonic wipeout that were Catherine Wheel lasted precisely 10 years and 5 albums. They progressed from shoegazing (performing with the likes of House Of Love and Slowdive) to hard rock, gaining them lots of fans in the U.S.but eroding their support in England. Formed in Great Yarmouth in 1990 (vocal/guitar: Rob Dickinson, guitar: Brian Futter, bass: Dave Hawes, drums: Neil Sims), their one and only FF entry was Black Metallic (FF 1991 #15), a lengthy and atmospheric piece with a heavy debt to the shoegazing genre that was originally released on their first major label, Fontana: it reached no. 68 in the UK, but soared to 9 on the US Modern Rock chart.
And therein lay their nemesis. Despite recording a Peel session while still unsigned, they were never really a ‘Peel band’, and the aggressiveness of the follow-up to their first album, Chrome, saw them pursue a style that alienated many (notwithstanding, Dickinson claims that members of Death Cab For Cutie and Interpol said that without this album, their groups would never have existed). They ‘parked’ the band (a nice new term to rival ‘going on indefinite hiatus’) in 2000. Dickinson’s not unhappy with the band’s demise, though:
We were the band that didn’t quite make it but that everyone still loves, and in many ways it doesn’t get much better than that. [www.thestar.com]