Great Yarmouth’s Catherine Wheel was formed in 1990. I was very impressed with their early work. This was predominantly shoegaze, but then they went a bit rock and got a massive following from the US College Radio scene. This enabled them to outlast most of the early nineties scenesters.
The Balloon EP demonstrates that Catherine Wheel had more up their sleeves than the run of the mill indie chart offering. Balloon and Intravenous are vivid well crafted pop songs. Balloon was the first song that made me seek out Catherine Wheel after hearing it on the radio. It’s catchy tune that encouraged radio play. There are two live tracks included Let Me Down Again and Painful Thing they showcase their live energy.
Catherine Wheel : Balloon
Let Me Down Again (Live)
Painful Thing (Live)
My favourite Catherine Wheel song ever, and the single has some great b-sides. Ursa Major Space Station appears on here first, before it was later reworked and rereleased on the album Chrome. This is a stripped down original version, it reminds me of Pearl Jam a bit.
The tone becomes even heavier with the dirty metal grunge riff of Collideoscopic. The single ends with Our Friend Joey a thrashy punk stomper that only lasts for a minute and a half.
Catherine Wheel had only been formed for two years when I Want to Touch You was released and it shows that Catherine Wheel had severed all links with the shoegazing fraternity and had gone to a rockier shore.
Catherine Wheel : I Want to Touch You
I Want to Touch You
Ursa Major Space Station
Our Friend Joey