4/9/15 – Catherine Wheel – Black Metallic – 1991

Song Of The Day

Catherine Wheel PicReleased in 1991 from their debut album, Ferment, Black Metallic is one of the most memorable songs by the pride of Great Yarmouth, Catherine Wheel. Singer, guitarist, Rob Dickinson, guitarist Brian Futter, bassist Dave Hawes, and drummer Neil Sims were essentially Shoegazers that could write songs, incorportaing feedback and tunes, fuzzy loud then eerily quiet, they successfully ticked all the Post-Grunge boxes with their dynamics and melody completing the sonic tricks of the day. From humble beginnings on the sleepy side of England, they eventually found themselves more popular in America than the Norfolk Broads.

They lasted about ten years making five albums in the last decade of the last century – Ferment (1992) Chrome (1993) Happy Days (1995) Adam And Eve (1997) and Wishville (2000). In 2005 Dickinson released a solo album,  Fresh Wine For The Horses ( I played a solo on the track Oceans) and that was that.

Dickinson’s heart lies in his company Singer Vehicle Designs, renovating vintage Porsche 911’s in Southern California – when he sings “Your Skin is Black Metallic” he’s not singing about you.





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2 Responses to “4/9/15 – Catherine Wheel – Black Metallic – 1991”

  1. delay plus chorus September 4, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    Fantastic song, and actually the whole album is quite good. Funny to read that Rob is cousins with Bruce Dickinson — bit difference in styles there.

    Anyway, Hammock did an excellent cover of this song a while back, maybe propelled it even further into space:

  2. Boydie September 6, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    Catherine Wheel are one of my favourite bands of all time but this song I think is a bit over-rated. For me their second record Chrome is the one and the whole of the it is amazing and has been cited by bands such as Interpol as big influences on them. Chrome sits at the inter face between shoe gazer rock and metal and has many sublime moments. The follow up Happy Days was too metal and the band had a bit of an identity crisis going on – not metal enough for the metal heads and too metal for the indie crowd. Then came Adam and Eve (if you discount the B side compilation ‘Like Cats and Dogs’) which was an incredible record and could/should have given OK Computer a run for its money if the record company promotion had been there. But they were with Mercury – ’nuff said (listen to Graham Parker’s ‘Mercury Poisening’ to find out more). Their final record was the under-rated ‘Wishville’ and then they called it a day. I saw Rob Dickenson do a solo acoustic show in support of his solo record at the Borderline in London and he was really great – but that seems to be it for him musically. Maybe cars were always his first passion?

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