Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The wonders of Watercats



It's always odd when you feel your music tastes and habits changing... well, that's the way I find it anyway. Suddenly I don't know what I want to listen to, all the CDs on the shelf seem wrong, nothing seems to be just what I want at that particular time. It's been a bit like that here of late and maybe that's why I've not written much about music since starting this new blog. I suppose this kind of phase feels so odd to me partly because music has been such a big part of my life – certainly I've loved it more than almost anything else – and so when it seems to fail me I feel really exposed (no religion to lean on, no sport to support, now not even the trusted parent to turn to... agh!). But even as I write this I wonder if what really happens in these changeovers is that bits of me are changing and so my music habits have to change to fit that. Who knows... which is chicken, which is egg (and of course, like most things, it's probably a bit of both...)? Whatever it is I know I haven't been listening to much music lately and it's been weird... kind of empty. Without the revolting (but very funny) “Inbetweeners” on replay on TV I don't know how I would have survived...

Then recently I got a CD in the mail – from fellow bloggers and some time Poetry Bus riders the Watercats. And with it my heart sings once more. Here's a song from it:



Vick and Ron (for the Watercats is these two somewhat playful individuals... see photo further down) insist that the CD they sent is a demo/not good enough/needs rerecording etc. but I have to say that for me it is pretty perfect as it is – with its lovely rambling guitars, handful of harmonica and, of course, Vick's warm but wistful voice ('wistful' gets a bit overused for voices but really it does seem right in this instance). I even like Ron's less... conventionally pleasing vocals as used on these songs (well come on, we all like Tom Waits, don't we?). And speaking of Waits, there's a good recent interview with him here and a song of his that was played on the radio this week here (it was on the Jarvis Cocker show on 6 Music... and chosen by his guest Lawrence as one of the saddest songs ever... it was an interesting show altogether).

But back to Ireland... and the Watercats... the mood of their songs takes me back to when I was about eleven or so and used to listen to the sounds of long, meandering '70s albums coming out of my older brother's room when he was back from uni (I didn't always know which album was which but I know it all sounded good... and I'd hazard a guess that maybe someone in the Watercats and my brother share a little musical history too... let's hope that's all they share...). And the best thing of all, for me, about this collection is that there are ten songs on the CD (“Week Long Day”, “Even Odds”, “Tip of Sorrow”, “Begging Time”, “Blinding”, “Wolves”, “Scriptures Said”, “Remus Jackson”, “Perfect Weather” and “Avoid the Crows”) and I really like all of them (and how often can you say that of a collection of ten original songs on a demo?). All round it's a winner for me and the sooner they have an album out that people can buy/own/hear the better.




In the meantime you can hear more of the marvellous Watercats on their blog (right hand side to hear tracks) or at soundcloud. And a little bird tells me there will be Watercats content with the next issue of the Poetry Bus magazine. Go Cats.

p.s. I've been reading more on the Trump affair from last post (it gets worse the more I read...). More on that soon. Open letter from "You've Been Trumped" filmmakers to Scottish First Minister while you wait.

x

15 comments:

Kat Mortensen said...

I agree. It sounds great, just as it is! (Well done, Watercats!) The ba-dums on this song remind me of The Muppets, incidentally.

We have 100s of cds on the iPod and you're so right; some days I have no interest in any of them and just end up not listening to anything - humming something random I make up in my head.

I've been discovering some things that have been around for ages that I somehow missed. Cat Stevens is a favourite right now.

Oh, and Emmerdale gets ME through.

Kat

Rachel Fox said...

'Emmerdale'??

Speechless... did I ever tell you I was an extra in that soap back in the 1990s. Long story...
x

the watercats said...

Wow! We're seriously touched that our noises have managed to lever a musical door open. I must say that I've been feeling the exact same when it comes to music lately. I put it down to an inevitable product of ageing. But luckily Peter Gabriel released new blood recently, I am so raving about this album and yes, I sit and cry listening to it, particularly if you stick the headphones on and completely immerse :-)
Thanks again for the brilliant words, we are genuinely chuffed!

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, good noises. Very good noises.

As for crying... I have cried a bit this week too. Not sure, as I say, whether one or two of your noises have nudged it on... or if it was coming/due anyway. In the Jarvis show (I listened to it yesterday though it is broadcast on a Sunday) they talked about that Tom Waits song being sad and making you cry and, sure enough, as it played I did find myself shedding a few tears. I wasn't even completely listening to the song - just half a listen was enough! The guest (Lawrence bloke - never heard of him before) talked a lot about sad songs and how music touches the listener. It is worth a peep at the show, as I say.

One of the things I like about this collection of your songs is that it covers highs and lows. I find 'Perfect Weather" a really cheery/cheering song in many ways.

x

The Bug said...

I love the Watercats & I'm jealous! :)

Titus said...

I love the idea of a heart singing once more to The Watercats.

Change - such a difficult thing, for some. I am particularly loathe to embrace it, so hats off for recognising it's happening.

Rachel Fox said...

Jealous of the cd, Bug? You see, cats, your public is waiting!

Loathe to embrace change, T? But we are changing all the time...

x

Totalfeckineejit said...

Delighted to have a Watercats track on the PB3 CD!
Mioawza!

Titus said...

Ha! Jethro Tull could have written their one big hit especially for me.

Rachel Fox said...

Had to look that up, T, couldn't have told you which of their songs was a hit. I'm guessing you mean "Living in the Past"? I see they have a thing called "Thick as a Brick" too but luckily that would be more me than you...
x

Domestic Oub said...

Really Rachel I think you're speaking for a lot of us here... music was a huge passion for me too for years and years, but just nothing has gotten me worked up at all much lately - only exceptions would be New York band Project Jenny, Project Jan and from a totally different end of the music spectrum, Luke Kelly. But, one cannot survive on two artists alone (at least I can't!) so I feel adrift and a tad bereft :(

Those Watercats sound great though :)

Rachel Fenton said...

Oh cool - now I have something else to listen to besides Ben Howard! Love the music vid there, too.

Excellent open letter, too. Look forward to more of your thoughts on this..

Rachel Fox said...

Laura Marling has been one of my/our big faves in past year or so... so it hasn't been all silence... but I have felt in between musical passions in some ways. LM is so talented it's painful. 3 great solo albums already and she's only 21!!!

You're the second person to mention Ben Howard in two days, R. Will have a listen.

x

Sarah said...

I like the song you shared. And you're right-it is rare to find an album where you like all the songs. I usually have about three or four I love and then wear the cd out(in the car) by keeping on going back to them! I hope your way back into music continues! I feel a bit the same about reading-I read far less these days though I have always got a book on the go. I know why though-the internet! I can track the decrease in my reading time with the increase in muy online time-something's got to give.

Rachel Fox said...

I listened to the Watercats CD again last night and yes, I definitely like all the songs. As well as some others they've posted to facebook and the like.

I've been reading more since we got back from our travels... I missed it while we were away as I didn't have much chance on the road (you'd think I would have done but what with the travelling and the planning en route and the keeping the 11 year old happy and seeing the sights... there wasn't much time left over). I've been online less than my usual since we got back too... though probably still too much at times!
x