In my opinion, they were criminally underrated and given far too much stick by the British music press. Maybe it was because they somehow fell in the gaps between shoegaze, grunge and Britpop. A shame, really.
Singer Rob Dickinson (a cousin of Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson) was a super-nice guy, too, and a terrific interview. And when Universal asked Rob and the band to cover Rush’s “Spirit of Radio” as sort of a favour to CFNY/The Edge, they did.
They also did a killer version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.”
The Catherine Wheel is long gone with all members finding new work. Rob tried a solo career that didn’t do as well as it should. So he went back to his first love: cars. Specifically, Porsches. From Road and Track:
The 49-year-old behind Singer Vehicle Design is a funny, self-effacing Englishman named Rob Dickinson. He is a genuinely nice guy who lives in Los Angeles. He named his company Singer partly because he once fronted a shoegaze band called Catherine Wheel. And he bears the same quiet impishness you see in a lot of L.A. Brits. You wonder if it’s a cultural thing, or if all of them aren’t just mildly thrilled to be far from their ancestral home, where it has been cloudier, far more polite, and generally unlike California for thousands of years.
At press time, Dickinson’s manner and work have convinced 28 people to give him at least $390,000 each in exchange for modifying an old 911. More than 40 others have put down deposits. Each car takes around eight months to finish. Dickinson has been doing this, in one form or another, since 2008.
Even if you like Porsches, the business model sounds unhinged.