I can’t claim to have summoned this out of the ether with my last post, but coincidentally it transpires that a Microdisney anthology is about to appear, making their music more widely available than it has been for some time. It includes six-tenths of The clock comes down the stairs, on which Cathal and Sean O’Hagan achieved a perfect blend of devastating couplets and melodies which trod the right side of the fine line between timeless and syrupy. Let’s hope the anthology – a double CD which spans the group’s lifetime – generates sufficient interest to put the whole of that album (at least) back in circulation.
The Fatima Mansions are simultaneously getting similar treatment. I confess I’m not familiar with any of Cathal’s solo work, having come to feel that neither he nor Sean ever quite matched apart what they did together. But even so, as spiritual and intellectual kin to Jacques Brel and Tom Waits, Cathal’s status should be much closer to those two anti-legends than to the gutter of underratedness in which he currently seems to reside.