FEATURE: Catholic Action – Bunch Of Fives | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Here’s a new Bunch Of 5s from Glasgow-raised Catholic Action who have teased the first single from the their forthcoming debut album In Memory Of due this autumn via Liverpool’s Modern Sky imprint. The band will be embarking on a UK tour post-release so a Newcastle date will likely be announced in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, check out their new track here; a breakneck paced slab of punked up art-rock, Propaganda typifies Catholic Action’s penchant for penning instantly memorable pop nuggets, with a sardonic and knowing sense of self.

Chris McRory chooses his five favourite production projects:

“When I’m not touring or recording with Catholic Action, I pay my rent by producing and mixing bands in Glasgow and London. I have a studio at my family home in Glasgow and that’s where Catholic Action first came into being – in fact, Doing Well, or last single was recorded there. Was a very surreal experience hearing something recorded in your old bedroom being played back on Radio One… Anyway, here are my five favourite recording projects so far:”

Siobhan Wilson
I just found out that Siobhan’s album, There Are No Saints is BBC 6 Music’s album of the day, a very pleasant and and surreal experience. I texted my mum and dad and told them, I thought they would want to know considering we made the record in their house. Out of all the records I’ve made, this was probably the most pleasurable, although the music would definitely suggest otherwise. I’d just set the mics up and Siobhan would play for hours. Almost 100% live performance. My cat, Coco actually sat curled up beside her as she did the takes. It was a very relaxed, creative process. The resulting album however, is truly heart-wrenching. My girlfriend was moved to tears when I played the rough mixes after the sessions were over. It’s dark stuff. A perfect juxtaposition of crafted songs, sweet vocals and bitter noise. 

Listen to Disaster and Grace, if it doesn’t make you well up at points – check your reflection still shows up in a mirror. 

Palm Honey
I produced Palm Honey’s “Tucked into The Electronic Wave” EP last summer at Hermitage Works Studios in London where we recorded Propaganda. They’re a properly inventive and exciting psych band, like Ulrika Spacek or Stereolab. No need for Paisley shirts and feather cuts – they shaved their heads actually – and they let their frighteningly bold music do the talking. We had a rather wild long weekend and recorded four songs, the amps were so loud the walls were shaking. We even had the saxophone player from Manfred Mann in doing layers of free jazz. The best thing about their music though, is this: As much as it goes into Interstellar Overdrive (wink), you can always dance or sing along to it – and to balance those two things is a real talent. They just played Glastonbury and have a new record out soon. I think they’re going to go a long way from their native Reading. 

Listen to I Can Try, it can only be effectively described as a true odyssey. 

The Pooches
The Pooches are the most underrated band in Glasgow and I’ve produced a few things for them: Their debut album and their Heart Attack EP for Lame-O records in the US and a recent lathe-cut for Superfan 99… It sold out in less than an hour. I had to get a copy from Spain at about 10 times the asking price on Discogs. James William Hindle is one of the most gifted songwriters I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. He just knocks out heartfelt indie pop nuggets one after the other seemingly without care or effort. There was a rumour going around Glasgow that he writes a song every day – I’ve never asked him if that’s true or not. I should.

Listen to Rats & Rats because genuinely, it should be considered a classic (not just because I played lead guitar and synth on it…)

Kelora
The only way I can even get close to describing Kelora (and they disagree with this description) is that they sound like Beach House playing medieval music… or some sort of cold wave band playing Pentangle. They are truly unique. I produced their EP, Boy earlier this year and I’m just finished  something I’m probably not meant to tell you about yet. They are the most forward thinking band I’ve worked with, truly bold and creative futurists. Their music is dark, but with the hippest labels around seeking them out and at inevitable risk of my sounding cheesy – their future is definitely bright. 

Listen to, Nightingale because aside from it being a cracking song, I think it’s my favourite mix I’ve ever done – So many scene changes.

Herbert Powell
Herbert Powell are the best guitar band in Glasgow, and certainly the most inventive since Mogwai or The Yummy Fur. Very young, very volatile and incredibly fearless – or perhaps completely unaware – I’m not sure. Either way, what they do is beyond exciting. I convinced them to stay together long enough to record their debut album the other week and it’s brilliant. Can you imagine Sonic Youth playing Goblin? Or Gang of Four covering a Yes album? You wont need to anymore. The band most likely to revitalise guitar music and drag it kicking and screaming into the present day.

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