Search Results for:


The Catenary Wires

Birling Gap

    Indie pop comes of age!

    Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey love pop songs, but pop songs with an edge. With their early bands Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, they were often dismissed by critics of the time as fey or ‘twee’, but this prejudice has since been revised: some of those sweet fizzy songs were about date-rape, and the band were an influential part of the movement that became riot grrrl.

    On their new album as The Catenary Wires, the songs are as strong as ever, full of sweet melody and rich with vocal harmonies. But the tunes are now vehicles for startlingly honest adult concerns: the fractured relationships, anxieties, passions and politics of people who live on an island that’s turning in on itself. Like the Go-Betweens and XTC before them, The Catenary Wires know that pop music can convey dark, sardonic, complex emotions, just as well as it can celebrate teenage angst.

    The album depicts England, not just in its lyrics, but in its music. The Catenary Wires have listened to the songs and stories England has comforted itself with over the decades, and re-imagined them. Canterbury Lanes presents a duetting couple, old now and worn down, but still aspiring to put their folk band back together, hoping to rekindle the idealistic flames of the early 1970s. Mirrorball, fizzy with syn-drums and Casio, presents another couple – middle-aged and unattached, who find unexpected love at a retro 80s disco. In the 70s-flavoured pop of Always on my Mind, love appears again, almost by surprise, conjured up by an old photo in a pile of memorabilia.

    The opening track, Face on the Rail Line, is a love song set in the now, full of emotion, but shot through with the paranoia that we all feel, living at a time when we are constantly in contact, but rarely communicate the truth. The last two songs on the album, Like the Rain, and The Overview Effect, are anxious romances, set in a fragile world.

    The Catenary Wires are now a five-piece band. The other members have impressive musical pedigrees of their own. Fay Hallam was in Makin’ Time, and now releases records in her own name. Andy Lewis played bass in the Weller Band, and has more recently worked with Louis Phillippe and Judy Dyble. Ian Button was in Thrashing Doves and Death in Vegas. These talented musicians elevate the songs, taking the arrangements onto another level.


    Barry says: Catenary Wires craft perfectly balanced pop songs, with rich production and a deep rooting in classic British indie music. there are echoes here of the storytelling vocals of Jarvis Cocker or the swooning harmonies of The Beautiful South, but with a casual and personable production aesthetic. Really lovely stuff.


    1. Face On The Rail Line
    2. Alpine
    3. Always On My Mind
    4. Mirrorball
    5. Three Wheeled Car
    6. Liminal
    7. Canterbury Lanes
    8. Cinematic
    9. Like The Rain
    10. The Overview Effect

    The Catenary Wires

    I Wish You Were Here Now

      Mirrorball takes two lonely single people, and takes them for a night out to an 80s disco. Surrounded by divorcees and middle-aged drunks, will they be too shy to talk, or will they find some love action? This is definitely the most positive and the most romantic duet Amelia and Rob have ever released. With delicate – and not so delicate – musical tributes to the 80s, Mirrorball starts off sceptical, but ends up falling in love with the music of a decade that was pure, unsubtle, tasteless and synthetic. The 80s disco looks like hell, but turns out to be heaven on earth! In an earlier life, Amelia and Rob were in Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, and these bands are still popular: Damaged Goods recently released a compilation of Heavenly singles, which created fresh interest. The Catenary Wires started as a duo, but are a full band now, and this record really feels the benefit of inspired contributions from Fay Hallam (keyboard), Ian Button (drums) and Andy Lewis (bass).

      Andy is also the producer. Fresh from recent success with Louis Phillippe and The Night Mail, he brings real verve and sophistication to Mirrorball. It’s a song that will be heard on many indie radio stations and dancefloors, and has the potential to be played more widely. The single will be supported by a new video – set in an 80s disco, of course. There will also be a special online 80s disco party, arranged in conjunction with popular club night How Does It Feel. Friends of the band and indie luminaries will be invited to choose the 80s song they dread the most - and the one they love the most - to create the perfect soundtrack to launch the new single. Fllipside I Wish You Were Here Now (exclusive to this single) is intense and poignant - more like previous Catenary Wires releases – and features Amelia signing a heart-rending lament, attempting to make sense of loss and unexpected departures. The songs’ range of tones is a perfect advert for the new Catenary Wires album, which will released by Skep Wax in May 2021.

      The Catenary Wires

      Til The Morning

        The Catenary Wires are Rob Pursey & Amelia Fletcher , formerly of Tender Trap, Marine Research, Heavenly & proto-riot-grrrl machismo-mocking punk-pop explosion Talulah Gosh. They specialise in emotive indie duets, capturing the spirits of Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood, Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot, & releasing them into modern Britain.

        The resulting songs will appeal to fans of Courtney Barnett &Kurt Vile or Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan. On this album, they are joined by Andy Lewis (Paul Weller Group)on cello, mellotron and percussion, & Fay Hallam (Makin' Time, Prime Movers) on Hammond organ & backing vocals. The local Kentish countryside provides ambient noise.

        Latest Pre-Sales

        160 NEW ITEMS

        PRESALE OF THE DAY: MUSIC FOR THE STARS (CELESTIAL MUSIC 1960-1979) A collection of laid back, late night songs p…
        Fri 5th - 4:00
        Brand new banner up today from @kokorokomusic to celebrate the release of their debut album, ‘Could We Be More’ out…
        Fri 5th - 1:39
        Happy New Music Friday everyone. Some great new records and reissues out today. Here until 6pm today.…
        Fri 5th - 10:29
        #throwbackthursday One of the original plastic bags from when the shop was at Piccadilly Plaza (original location)…
        Thu 4th - 5:05
        E-newsletter —
        Sign up
        Back to top