Cerys, Catatonia And The Rise Of Welsh Pop

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Random House, Nov 30, 2011 - Music - 288 pages
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In the late nineties, Wales (is) the centre for guitar bands in the UK so says John Robb in THE NINETIES and with bands as strikingly fresh and individual as Catatonia Welsh denomination looks assured. It has taken Catatonia eight years of hard work and persistance to gain the recognition and adulation that they so richly deserve, but finally Cerys' searing vocals and lilting guitar pop have made the breakthrough. Hardly surprisingly really, considering the wealth of talent that is Catatonia and the crest of the Welsh wave they are so assuredly riding. But as anyone will tell you, what makes Catatonia different from the rest, the Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics and others, is Cerys. Cerys Matthews is fast becoming an icon in herself - a combination of sweetness and South Walesian toughness that is proving to be so endearing to her legion of fans. Often likened to Blondie, Cerys has graced more magazine covers than you care to mention, yet she is the sort of pop star who still sends away for free tights. This book will be the first to chart the rise and yet further rise of Catatonia, from Cerys busking outside Debenhams in Cardiff to their new found fame.

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skint and slumming it Cerys in transit van on the way to London 1994
Cerys Mark Paul and Clancy at The Garage London February 1994
Cerys and Mark round off their mammoth trek of the UK with Space at University of London Union June 1996
Cerys with guitar rocks out at The Dublin Castle November 1994
The nascent Cerys Matthews finds her feet at The Joiners Arms Southampton February 1994
Groovy Baby Mark and Cerys then known as Sweet Catatonia in their very first publicity shot an Andy Warholesque 60s homage The picture was ta...
Cerys scrubs up for one of her first photo shoots 1994
the infamous photo session at Jayne Houghtons office which spawned a legend

The Final Chapter?
Mark and Paul strike a moody pose in Y Cyrff 1989
Owen Powell and his Crumblowers bandmates 1990
Owen and Lloyd Powell flying the Welsh flag on St Davids Day at The Powerhaus 1 March 1990
for the early Catatonia lineup as they stroll on the seafront near Crai records at Llandwrog 1993 The pic was used for the inner sleeve of the For Tink...
Cerys surrounded by four minders Aled Mark Owen and Paul looking suitably moody and magnificent for a Warners promo shoot
Paul onstage at ULU
Cerys with obligatory beer having some summer fun in a tent at Reading festival August 1997
Portrait Of A Girl With A Lovely Voice The National Portrait Gallery Summer 1999
Cerys Matthews superbra superstar wowing The Reading festival August 1999
streets ahead of the opposition in Melbourne on Catatonias Australian tour February 1999
individual sultry and stylish the new Queen of Pop Australia 1999

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About the author (2011)

Born and raised in South Wales, music journalist David Owens cut his teeth on a number of key fanzines and Welsh newspapers during the early days of the nascent Welsh music scene. He's interviewed such pop icons as David Bowie, Paul Weller and The Charlatans. He was also the first music journalist in Wales to interview The Manic Street Preachers.

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