Cathal Coughlan: Search & Destroy

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
When I was about 18, I decided that of all the bands I could think of, the Fatima Mansions where the only ones beyond critcism. Not that they were my favourites or anything, but I just couldn't think ofhow anyone could slag them off. I only have a few of his records, really, and maybe I'd like to get some more, but I don't know which to choose. If it's any indication, I like Microdisney's '39 Minutes' and the Fatima Mansion's 'Only Losers Take The Bus' (the best song about Thatcherism, sort of, ever) a lot.

Nick, Friday, 29 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I saw him play 'Only Losers' years ago. I don't know why you think it's good, Nick.

I don't understand, either, the bit about thinking they were beyond criticism, but not getting most of their records. I'm not saying you should get their records - it just seems an odd combination, in a big record-buyer like you.

I don't understand, above all, why you thought they were beyond criticism. That is beyond me. Why would you think such a weird thing? (It's like when those weird people write things and You reply 'That is so bonkers it's quite wonderful', etc.)

the pinefox, Friday, 29 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Well, it's like that old cliché about the opposite to love not being hate but indifference. And also, I was more thinking about what other people could say about them. I mean my favourite band was the Smiths, but there were an awful lot of cheap insults you could throw at them (and maybe quite a few valid ones too). But I couldn't think of any for the Fatima Mansions. That's what I meant.

Anyway, does no one have any suggestions at all?

Nick, Friday, 29 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

drab featureless music? self-conscious worthyness?

gareth, Friday, 29 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Well, I only have "Against Nature" and "The Loyaliser" single and I can't say I think they're great. I remember "Only Losers Take The Bus" sounding very much a product of its polarised times, not irrelevant, but slightly crude in its sloganeering / sarcasm.

I think I'd like "The Loyaliser" as a song better if it hadn't been so deliberately, almost bombastically guitar-dominated, or at least that's how it seemed to me.

Robin Carmody, Friday, 29 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

You could certainly slag them off for having dull songs. They seemed to feel they created a noisy guitar maelstrom but - especially on record - they just sounded weak. And they've dated very badly. I still think Cathal Coughlan had a decent voice though.

Joss, Saturday, 30 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Search : Microdisney "Everybody is Fantastic" LP and "Horse Overboard" and "Loftholdingswood" from the follow-up ("The Clock Came Down the Stairs"?). Above all, Search Microdisney live just about any time between 1984 and '86.

Destroy : The wretched, wretched Fatima Mansions.

Dr. C, Saturday, 30 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Like Dr. C I was and am very keen on Micrdisney (I think the "Crooked Mile" LP has aged extraordinarily well), and I think the Fatima Mansions were mostly useless: not enough tunes, Nick, that's what I'd say. I do like the "Bertie's Brochures" mini album, which is a lot more like Microdisney in spirit, I think. And I still find the cover of "Shiny Happy People" pleasingly gratuitous.

Tim, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Microdisney's albums just didn't really capture what they were about IMHO. I used to have a mixing desk tape of their set around the time of "Clock..." which had a lot more passion than any of their studio efforts. "Everybody is Fantastic" has charm and good songs and "Clock..." just scrapes through on the strength of the better tracks. "39 minutes" and "Crooked Mile" didn't make any impact on me.

Dr. C, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

four years pass...
Did anyone else see the Flannery's Mounted Head performance in Cork about a month ago? The instrumentation was very 60s Scott Walker meets 90s Scott Walker, and there were for sure some very nice, elaborate melodies going on. And he was in fine voice.

michael roger stuart angel, Monday, 17 October 2005 14:56 (fifteen years ago) link

four years pass...

New album coming soon! I gotta reassess the earlier solo works, they never quite grabbed me like the Fatima Mansions.

"Cathal Coughlan's fifth album, recorded with the Grand Necropolitan Quartet, is Rancho Tetrahedron, and will be released on Kitchenware Records on August 9, 2010. The album was recorded in various locations in London, California and Ireland, and contains 12 new songs. It was recorded by various people, including Oliver Knights of Turin Brakes (who also sang), Andy Ramsay of Stereolab and Coughlan himself.

Mixing, fittingly, ended in a breezeblock construction, adjoining the freight airport in San Diego, Xmas ‘09. It was freezing cold and, periodically, booming sound-systems would circle the empty parking lot outside. A giant East German flag decorated the wall."

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 24 July 2010 14:40 (ten years ago) link

Cathal was always such a great live presence. "This song is about authority, cos, y'know, all the bands hate authority...."

Dr X O'Skeleton, Sunday, 25 July 2010 17:02 (ten years ago) link

nine years pass...

I just started building out a Coughlan/O'Hagan website ->

weirwrite, Thursday, 5 March 2020 15:29 (one year ago) link

met CC at WFMU in the mid 90s, nice fella

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 5 March 2020 17:15 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

I'm liking what I'm hearing of his new material.

Cathal Coughlan - Song Of Co-Aklan
Former Fatima Mansions and Microdisney frontman Cathal Coughlan reveals his first solo music in over a decade. Accompanied by a handful of stellar names - Luke Haines, Sean O’Hagan - ‘Song Of Co-Aklan’ is a reminder of Coughland's acidic humour his sultry vocal style. A fine, fine songwriter, not a million miles from Arab Strap at points.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 9 March 2021 16:50 (one month ago) link

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 9 March 2021 16:51 (one month ago) link

It's been a while since I've played his solo records but "Foburg" and especially "Rancho Tetrahedron" really deliver. I recall the earlier records were a bit tame for me at the time but I still love his voice.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 9 March 2021 21:35 (one month ago) link

His voice has stayed quite nice.

This Friday March 12th. Pre-order or pre-save at:

— Cathal Coughlan/Co-Aklan (@realcathalc) March 10, 2021

Looking forward to the full thing. I'm glad he was finally able to reconnect with Sean.

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 10 March 2021 20:52 (one month ago) link

Ah, here we go. Another song -

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 10 March 2021 21:23 (one month ago) link

This is really promising. Agreed that Cathal's voice and delivery still sounds fantastic.

doug watson, Thursday, 11 March 2021 17:58 (one month ago) link

Now streaming in full:

There’s an exclusive album stream going on over at Cork-based @overblownzine ahead of Friday's release. Thanks! CC @8RadioIreland @keeleytheband @irishmusicparty @theirishjam @Live95Limerick @UCC983FM @dublincityfm @RTERadio1 @TowerDublin @IrishAltMusic

— Cathal Coughlan/Co-Aklan (@realcathalc) March 24, 2021

afriendlypioneer, Thursday, 25 March 2021 15:02 (three weeks ago) link

Had my first listen. Incredible. His best.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 26 March 2021 05:06 (two weeks ago) link

I’m freaking out here over how good it is. Immediately dropped $50 on the LP after my first listen. There’s so many good songs on here.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 26 March 2021 13:30 (two weeks ago) link

Mark your calendars, next Monday April 5th at 8pm. @Tim_Burgess will be hosting a @LlSTENlNG_PARTY for my new album 'Song of Co-Aklan'. Hope to see you there! @DimpleDiscs @ShellshockLtd @Konkurrent_nl @Amped_Dist @ShamelessPR_ @_schubertmusic_

— Cathal Coughlan/Co-Aklan (@realcathalc) March 29, 2021

'St Wellbeing Axe' kicked my ass all over the place this weekend. There's these lines at the very end of the song that are so good, where Cathal talks about the narrator's secret gymnast body. I adore this record.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 29 March 2021 14:31 (two weeks ago) link

Well, I'll keep talking to myself and share something interesting from this excellent Quietus feature -

And then there’s the imminent first release from Telefís, a collaboration with Irish superstar producer Jacknife Lee. The latter’s credits include R.E.M., One Direction and Taylor Swift – and Coughlan seems rather tickled by the suggestion that he could now be considered a ‘topliner’. It will surprise some, but close observers will have long suspected that he had this kind of weirdly catchy electronic pop project in him too.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 30 March 2021 19:17 (two weeks ago) link

I do need to catch up with this new one.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 30 March 2021 19:37 (two weeks ago) link

I've just heard it, need to spin it again to absorb it. I want to know the stories behind some of these lyrics, especially "My child is alive" and the line about someone torching mosques and synagogues.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 31 March 2021 01:40 (two weeks ago) link

I want to know more about the "narrator's secret gymnast body," alluded to at the end of "St Wellbeing Axe," one of the hardest rocking songs of the year.

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 31 March 2021 14:55 (two weeks ago) link

Cathal gives really good interviews, I've found -

Few musicians give me so much.

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 31 March 2021 20:39 (two weeks ago) link

Today's #timstwitterlisteningparty albums are Cathal Coughlan's 'Song Of Co-Aklan' at 3 PM ET, and Dry Cleaning's 'New Long Leg' at 5 PM ET

— BrooklynVegan (@brooklynvegan) April 5, 2021

Tim's Listening Party tonight if you're into those kinds of things.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 5 April 2021 14:40 (one week ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.