Their first release, a 7" called Cotton dress, was recorded at Dave Stewart's London studio and became Melody Maker's Single Of The Week. “Catchers are sublime, enchanting and some strange kind of wonderful” (Melody Maker). A great deal of press attention followed, especially in France where, on the strengths of the "Cotton Dress " single alone, the band was offered a prestigious Black Session on C'est Lenoir, a legendary Radio France programme. Mute , the band's first album, was produced by Mike Hedges at his studio in Normandy, France. Mute was released at the end of September 1994 to critical acclaim on both sides of the English Channel, especially in France.
“Truly wonderful“ (Melody Maker). “Deliriously great songs” (NME). ‘’A record of pastoral delights’’ (The Times). From then on, France would become a second home for the band.
In 1994, Mute made both the journalists and the readers top ten albums of the year poll in the influential Les Inrockuptibles magazine. The rest of the year and the first part of 1995 were spent on the road in the UK and mainland Europe opening for the likes of Oasis, Pulp, and Edwyn Collins, as well as headlining their own shows and playing both La Route du Rock and Les Inrocks festivals in France. In 1995, Catchers signed to Warner Music Discovery in the US, a label run by the legendary Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records. Holzman had previously signed The Doors and Love to his fledgling label in the sixties. The band temporarily relocated to New York City and started a three month tour that would take them from coast to coast, opening for The Innocence Mission as well as headlining their own dates. In the Autumn of 1995, the band returned to London and Dale Grundle started working on new demos in his home studio.
The original bass player, Ger FitzGerald, remained in the US, and was replaced by Craig Carpenter on the band’s return. Catchers resurfaced in 1998 with a new single, Call Her Name. By this time, the band had become a five piece with the addition of an extra guitarist, Jonathan Lord. Later that year, the band released Stooping to Fit , their second album. Recorded at the Cocteau Twins studios in London, Stooping to Fit displayed some intense and beautiful strings and brass arrangements by Nick Drake’s collaborator, Robert Kirby and revealed a darker edge to Grundle’s pop sensibility.
Comparisons with The Cure were made in recognition of Dale’s ability to write an album with great, straight-forward pop songs as well as more moody and searing numbers. Stooping To Fit was very well received in France and the band was invited to play La Route Du Rock festival in Brittany a second time as well as Les Rockomotives festival in Vendome. In September 1998, Catchers embarked on a 15 date tour around France for what would ultimately be their last headlining tour. In spite of glowing reviews (“Wonderfully crafted songsmithery’’ (Time Out) ‘’A soft-spoken masterpiece’’ (The Times). “The most emotive pop music around” (Totally Wired), Stooping To Fit was poorly promoted by their UK label, Setanta Records, and sales were disappointing. On February 19th, 1999, Catchers played their last show at The Garage in Highbury, London. NME: 'two astonishing voices and a skipful of youthful charm - somehow encapsulate every idyllic summer and perfect romance you ever had. The end result is deliriously great songs and the single-handed reinvention of 'perfect pop' as a viable concept.
Honest. 8/10' Melody Maker: 'They've dream-wished into life a record of incandescent beauty and gentle rage. "Mute", indeed, robs me of speech: it steals my breath.' CMJ Magazine: 'Few records deserve the accolade, but this one does: Mute is truly a perfect pop album.' Sun Zoom Spark: 'For each person that exists there is a different and unique idea of perfection. 'Mute' is an item of that nature; intrinsically beautiful, inherently intuitive.
Sure, there is no such thing as a perfect album but this is as close to that ideal as I have heard in aeons.' The Times: 'It is a tribute to the band - and especially songwriter Dale Grundle - that their basic guitar/bass/drums/keyboards formula remains so fresh and involving. Stooping to Fit is a soft-spoken masterpiece. 9 out of 10' Music Week: 'Catchers return with an album that oozes confidence and boasts a number of cracking tunes. Always a superb songsmith, Dale Grundle's dreamy, evocative songs should win over many new fans.' Magic! Revue Pop Moderne: 'I am convinced a great songwriter is born.' Roddy Woomble, the lead singer of Idlewild: 'Personally, I think (Catchers have) influenced me an awful lot.
Their lyrics are a huge inspiration and certainly influence my approach towards writing. It's the way their singer, Dale Grundle, would write about seemingly ordinary subjects but still manage to weave all these strange analogies into them.' Catchers website at: http://www.thecatchers.co.uk Myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/catchers Check out Dale's new group at http://www.myspace.com/thesleepingyears Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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