By Thomas Semioli
The hooks were massive….
For a brief, shining moment Catatonia were contenders for the Brit-Pop throne by way of their hallowed status in the Welsh “Cool Cymru” movement -a BBC term embracing young Welsh film / music artists in the late 1990s. However the hits dried up as the genre imploded due to over-saturation – as pop musical factions are prone to do.
Catatonia also crossed the pond to the States seeking fame and fortune (I had the good fortune to interview Cerys Matthews), however akin to many of their peers (Manic Street Preachers, The Stereophonics), their UK brand of pop rock failed to ignite the hysteria they enjoyed at home. Hence the band broke up and Ms. Matthews went on to wax Americana influenced slabs, whilst the rest of Catatonia returned to civilian life.
Which brings us to bassist Paul Jones, who was noticeably older than his Cardiff bandmates. A fluid player who infused soulful passages throughout Cerys Matthews and Mark Roberts’ tuneful rockers and weepy ballads, Jones was that rare blokey among his peers -many of whom came to the instrument because the guitar chair was occupied – who was a bass player first and foremost!