So who are Catatonia? Well they really came into the public eye when they released the top 3 hit 'Mulder And Scully' in 1998, followed by the popular 'Road Rage', both from their critically acclaimed album 'International Velvet'. Known for their lead singer's strong (and prominently Welsh) voice and their excellent song writing, they became one of the best bands of the nineties. However, things weren't always this good...
Cerys Matthews and Mark Roberts formed the band in around 1990/1991 as 'Sweet Catatonia', though later dropped the 'Sweet'. The first proper lineup was Mark (guitar), Cerys (vocals and guitar), Paul Jones (who'd played with Mark in Welsh language band Y Cyrff) (bass), Dafydd Ieuan (drums) and Clancy Pegg (keyboards). Through Crai they released the two EPs 'For Tinkerbell' and 'Hooked', both of which were NME singles of the week.
However, Clancy was dropped from the band and Dafydd Ieuan (who'd been playing for two bands) needed to stick with one and stayed with 'Super Furry Animals'. Though he did recommended Aled Richards as a replacement drummer. A little while later Owen Powell also joined the band as another guitarist, so that Cerys could concentrate on singing. Catatonia were complete.
However, their debut album 'Way Beyond Blue' failed to bring the high profile success they strived for, despite being an excellent album. The pressure was on for their next album. The first single to be released from it was 'I Am The Mob'. However, radio one refused to play it due to the mafia references. But, with their next choice of single they were on to a winner. 'Mulder And Scully' got the publicity the band deserved and rocketed them into the public eye. 'Road Rage' strengthened their reputation even more and International Velvet crept up to number one. Cerys' duet with Space, 'The Ballad Of Tom Jones', also helped to heighten their profile and reputation.
Their third album, 'Equally Cursed And Blessed', quickly followed and went straight in at number 1, following the success of first single, 'Dead From The Waist Down', which charted at number 7. However, by the end of 1999, the band were understandably exhausted. After 2 years of constant touring and promotion they decided they needed a break and cancelled their December arena tour.
The band lay low throughout 2000, taking things easy and working on new material. This new material came to light in 2001 with the release of their fourth album 'Paper, Scissors, Stone', preceded by the single 'Stone By Stone'. The album was not as commercially successful as their previous 2 albums, but it contains some of their most expressive and beautiful songs. Unfortunately no further singles were released from the album as, following health problems and a rumoured breakdown from Cerys, the band split up. The split was officially announced on September 21st 2001.
Following the split, a Greatest Hits album has been released by Blanco Y Negro. Cerys has been working on a solo album in Nashville and the boys have gotten involved in some music projects in Wales and are spending time with their families.