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."
Release Date: 18 August 2023
Catalogue Number: UMCLP043
After a contract race with Creation and Opal Records, Catherine Wheel signed to Fontana. In June 1992, they released their debut album, Ferment, which was produced by Tim Friese-Greene, who had just recently finished working with Talk Talk. Its muscular rock was often mesmeric, and its lead single Black Metallic created huge interest. The album was ranked No 23 in Pitchfork's 50 Best Shoegaze albums of all time.
This re-issue faithfully replicates the original 1992 Fontana UK release and is pressed onto high quality 180g vinyl. Also included is the three-track live 12" EP, recorded at Bath Moles Club on 6 November 1991 which was is pressed onto 140g vinyl.
Release Date 18 August 2023
Catalogue Number: UMCLP044
Overseen by Pixies producer Gil Norton and recorded at Pink Floyd's Britannia Row Studios, where band favourites, Joy Division, had made Closer, Chrome marked a huge step forward, honed on the road after the constant touring to support previous album Ferment. With its sleeve designed by Storm Thorgerson, it's as if the album was a dry run for Muse. There is increasing experimentation – the 7 minutes plus of Fripp are, as writer Ben Cardew noted, "celestial and full of dread." As Pitchfork wrote, "It's as if Chrome were imported from another history of alt-rock, one more textured and romantic, where it sits deservedly atop the pile."
This re-issue faithfully replicates the original 1993 Fontana UK release and is pressed onto high quality 180g vinyl.
Release Date: 18 August 2023
Catalogue Number: UMCLP045
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.