By Jordan Mooney.
As you’ll all likely have realised by now, Cat on the Wall has been under new management for the past couple of months. Jo Whitby and Celine Lux handed the reins over in early October, and it must be said that I’ve never been busier in my life.
However, as I and my comrades whom assist in this ‘zine took a rest from the dust kicked up over Christmas (I think it was cinnamon), we began realising that we’ve also had a fine, fine time, and more often than not this is due to the musicians, the artists, the weird and wonderful figures we end up interviewing, those we talk to, those that leave lasting impressions on us.
There’s a ruddy lot of them, but I’m a sucker for a challenge, and as we look on in horror, hours ticking away to a big fat 2014, I figure it’s only fitting we perhaps do a sort of finale, a point towards the loveliest (and often most ment- err…artistic) people I have spoken to over these past twelve months.
This is not the finest talents, the best albums, or the most famous, or even those whom have brought the most traffic to our little establishment. These are people. Lovely, lovely people whom have provided particularly bizarre, unusual, or inspiring answers, or those whom open up the most and provide intense insight. Those whom have impacted Cat on the Wall most powerfully.
Now, before I go further, it has to be said – I haven’t spoken to an awful lot of those whom have appeared on ‘The Wall’ since January. This is because while I was a regular contributor, I wasn’t really that ‘involved’ for a fair majority. I can’t, fairly, talk about these people when I’ve never really contacted them.
This isn’t something I’m happy about, and I sincerely hope these people will approach us with more wonderful material in 2014 so I may get to know them and feature them in next year’s finale.
I hope you all understand, and instead of getting upset, shall continue reading to learn of the most brilliant people that I have spoken to. And loved. Perhaps a bit too much.
The first I’d like to talk about is a fine group that, while not specifically the biggest musical talents you’ll ever see encoded on a plastic disc, are one of my absolute favourites. They’ve gone well out of their line of duty by talking to myself and my Cat on the Wall comrades whenever they have the chance, hugs, continuous support, threats of sexually charged encounters and basically just being the loveliest people I have, far and away, met in the entirety of the music industry. Their music is great, their personalities are great, their ‘thing’ is, simply, wonderful.
Their songs are funny, high octane, charged up to the peak of the mixing board and, live, responsible for me losing my hearing temporarily twice over the course of about eight months. They’ve appeared on Cat on the Wall more than any other artist, four times over the course of one year. Rather an impressive record to say the least.
You’ve probably worked out who it is by now. One of them is a feline. The others I so…pleasantly pointed out, are composed of a “Tennessee Greaser” and the sort of person “whom’s spent the last fifteen years running from the law, wanted in seven countries for stabbing the same poor geezer in the chest for no real reason.”
I evidently wrote that review with the belief I’d never meet them…
Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons are the first to get the sincerest thank you, and a final shout out. Go find this band, go listen to this band, go buy this band’s frankly brilliant T-shirts, and go watch this band live. You shan’t forget it. Absolutely wonderful people.
Next up comes one of the most beautifully purple people I’ve ever met. Purpleman, the legendary street performer of York, remains one of my favourites. His outlook on life is beautifully purple shade of sunlight, his beliefs are beautifully inoffensive and his demeanour is constantly friendly, open and pleasant. He’s a little…odd, this comes as expected when you’re featured on this Webzine, but he’s a lovely, lovely fellow who simply completes a trip to the great city of Yorvik. He’s not quite a musician, although I have no doubt he has a vast range of purple instruments, but he’s an arteest, a modern day purple philosopher.
Or maybe he’s just a bit off of the deep end? The Deep Purple end. Get it? Deep Purple? Brilliant.
Mr. Purpleman, I salute you and your purple bike and your purple puppy called Bubbles.
Following hot on that purple trail is a group, and a certain gentleman, that provided a bit of record breaking loveliness to the Wall and provided some wonderful suspenders for us to ogle at, too.
He also has a cracking ‘tache.
Yes, our next honourable mention goes to Simon M. Read and his beautifully silly but thought provoking social commentary with Quiet Marauder.
What can you say about a band that has songs about Burt Reynolds, Eggs, David Cameron and a particularly unpleasant group of animals?
If you really need 111 tracks of new music – and don’t we all – then you should be more than willing to take a dive into this really, really original mix of humour, sexism, manliness and social commentary.
To make matters even more wonderful, our old editor, Jo Whitby, with her musical opus of a project, Laurence Made Me Cry, appears on the album. And does a wonderful job. Because she does a wonderful job of everything.
Just like Simon, really.
This group has a documentary that’s completely factual and not at all rooted in comedy that tells the tale of this release’s production, which pleases me, too. Because I think every band should be dipping their thumbs into miscellaneous media pies, and because Quiet Marauder did it so well I’d be incredibly willing to lick their hands clean.
That’s an invitation, Simon. I know you’re reading this. Don’t ignore me.
Next up, the craziest group of cannibalistic helicopters, jockeys foreskins and whatever else they’ve decided to call themselves this week, Joe Coles and his minions make up Lazarus and the Plane Crash, who simply get everything right but at the same time, so..very, very wrong…so much so that you feel a little uncomfortable talking about them in public. That’s always a sign of a great band.
This band really picks my imagination because they’re so filthy and scary, and I like filthy, scary things. They have an Ouija board packaged with their album, Horseplay, that is basically designed to be a woman’s underparts. What more could you hope for?
Oh, right, music. Well, that’s bloody brilliant too, an excellent eclectic mix of evil thoughts and nasty ideas that probably aren’t socially acceptable.
It’s noisy, it’s technically skilled and it’s got so many additives I’m not convinced it’s healthy.
Joe Coles provided one of the strangest interviews we’ve ever had, and we love him for it.
But we’re still a little bit scared.
On the lighter, more sensitive side of things comes Anna Bo, a genuine mistress of music whom has a long career (far more of her life than you would normally expect!) behind her and an even larger one ahead of her.
Her EP is really quite special, a dark but beautiful and elegant look into a psyche, and makes for a really interesting – nay – fascinating release. It’s one of the finest I’ve heard, unsurprising for somebody hailed as a musical genius so early in her life, perhaps, but above and beyond what I expect from any musician, let alone an independent electronic genre splitter from Bulgaria.
She herself is incredibly pleasant to talk to. She’s incredibly friendly, a really, really nice lady who’s always looking for fresh music to introduce to us – exactly the sort of person we love to know at COTW!
She’s passionate, productive, intelligent and frustratingly difficult to apply a genre to. She’s basically Anna Bo. That’s all I can say about her.
Check her out, and keep tabs – I understand she’ll have more for us all very soon, and personally, I can’t wait!
Next up is the big man, the biggest man, the, by far, most esteemed gentry of goth to touch upon our fine pages.
Mr. Aurelio Voltaire is a sign of just how brilliant the goth movement is. This glorious little subculture remains astoundingly proud and has been chugging along like a steam powered leviathan for decades.
Mr. Voltaire has the honour of being the most popular feature of 2013. When we interviewed him slap bang in the middle of the year, we got a flood of attractive ladies in corsets and underbusts. His interview was a thoughtful, funny, reflective sort of situ, and it remains one of the most enlightening to my person. Our interaction throughout has been a pleasure. I couldn’t possibly hope for more.
This fine man is an animator, artist, designer, musician, writer…you get the idea. He’s quite literally the definition of multimedia artist and his output remains enormously satisfying and continuous.
He’s an incredibly popular fellow too, ruling over a vast hoard of over 45,000 fans on Facebook that are devoted to every word that leaves his dashing, furry lips.
His honesty and openness is incredibly refreshing. He acts as he would with friends – if somebody says something he finds particularly dumb or offensive he’ll point it out and voice why. He doesn’t try to shame anybody, he doesn’t point to them shouting ‘Look at this idiot!’, he just explains to them. He basically treats us as his equals and peers, and in many ways, I think that’s how he views us. He constantly communicates progress with all branches of his work – he’s a musician who uses social networking to perfection.
He’s not with it for the money, or fame, or success, or even to prove himself to us. He simply works to satisfy his own creative essences – he works to his own success.
He also chugs an entire bottle of rum every live show and tells really hilarious jokes about Germans.
This man is something we can all aspire to be.
I can’t spend so long speaking about this group as I’m yet to really know them as well as I do the others in this list, but I can tell you they’re some of the most passionate people I’ve ever met. Their EP is something else entirely, genuinely one of the best I’ve heard in all of my years. It is a stunning piece of work, and, frankly, so is the interview we had with the gentleman at the helm of it all.
One of the most thoughtful, talented groups of people I’ve ever had the absolute pleasure of speaking to.
Finally, and, perhaps, most importantly, a word to the people whom assist me in the running of this publication.
First, to Jo Whitby and Celine Lux, whom have supported me every step of the way in running this website and have been a constant guidance. They built an incredible threshold, one of the finest webzines I’ve personally ever kept tabs with, and to continue it for them is every inch an honour. I couldn’t possibly thank these two wonderful ladies enough, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank them for everything, on behalf of everybody – thank you for making Cat on the Wall in the first place. I’m merely a steward.
Next comes the gentleman whom has attended every gig since Whitby Goth, now the official photographer for Cat on the Wall, Matthew Sambrook. A fine (relative) straight man to my less than typical behaviour and a person with whom it is always a pleasure to travel. Mr. Sambrook remains open minded, willing and thinks of music just as passionately as myself. He also has a fine taste in steak. Mr. Sambrook, thank you kindly for attending so many of Cat on the Wall’s escapades. May it long continue.
Finally, to my official proof reader, horror enthusiast and one of the biggest literary talents in my greasy black talons, Michal Bajer, whom premiered for Cat on the Wall over hallowe’en with the first of what I hope will become many Hammer horror reviews. I share many an incredible conversation with this gentleman and he’s the closest I have to a staff member for ‘The Wall’. We are simply born to work together, I feel, and I think he does an incredible job of simply being a fine fellow. All of the best to him.
And to those whom I have forgotten or have insufficient knowledge to write about, to those whom are simply readers, to everybody whom has touched this website, to everybody who listens to our somewhat nonsensical metaphors and increasingly dark humour…
Thank you. You’ve made 2013 an amazing year for Cat on the Wall.
Happy New Year, and all the more of them, I hope. 2014 promises great things to those whom will work for them.