Chris Catalyst

Chris lives in Leeds, and has done for some time.

He enjoys cups of tea, music in all of its weird and wonderful forms, playing the bass guitar, playing the drums badly and reading about mass murderers.

In winter, he has been known to wear up to six layers of clothing.

Chris gave up smoking in 2009 and has been pissing and moaning about it ever since.

The first song Chris ever wrote was a tragic vignette of deception and jealousy from his sister’s (now sadly deceased) rabbit, Mischief, which went, ‘Mischief bit me all the way, and mummy put a flaster on’. Chris could not pronounce the word ‘plaster’ properly, because he was three.

Chris really, really likes condiments.

Chris played rugby league between the ages of 8 and 15 (main positions: centre and full-back), and always wanted to be a rugby player, until a knee injury put him out of the game. So he took up playing the guitar and smoking cigarettes instead. This was until he gave up smoking in order to take up full-time pissing and moaning.

He bites his nails, but not because he is addicted to biting his nails. It’s because he can’t really be arsed with clipping them every few weeks.

His favourite pursuits outside of music include thinking about music, and reading about bands.

Top 7 Rock Biographies

  1. The Stone Roses – John Robb
  2. On The Road With The Ramones – Monte Melnick
  3. Freaky Dancin’ – Bez
  4. Come As You Are – Michael Azerrad
  5. Bad Vibes – Luke Haines
  6. Loving The Alien – Christopher Sandford
  7. Margrave Of The Marshes – John Peel/Sheila Ravenscroft

Top 21 TV Theme Tunes Of All Time

(in no particular order, apart from Number 1)

  1. Sorry – one of the best pieces of music ever recorded. Ronnie Hazelhurst is the king.
  2. Only Fools And Horses (intro) – classic
  3. Auf Wiedersehen Pet – brilliant LAD anthem
  4. Snooker – cool as fuck. Makes me want to wear aviators and leather trousers. Or at least very tight jeans
  5. Grange Hill – unparalleled genius
  6. Minder – catchy and some beauty slap bass in there
  7. Blockbusters – like Pet Shop Boys crossed with Rammstein
  8. The Bill – well worth listening to the full version of this – some amazing prog noodling and more slap bass
  9. Wizbit – catchy
  10. In Sickness And In Health – you can’t beat Chas n’ Dave, ever. Great solo too
  11. The Littlest Hobo – still makes me cry a bit
  12. Robin’s Nest – another great proggy one
  13. Red Dwarf – just a great piece of pop music
  14. Supergran – amazing rhyming: ‘Don’t want to cause a ruckus with BA Baracus’
  15. Going For Gold – I remember this being quite futuristic at the time. More slap bass. Also worth watching the clip for footage of erstwhile host Henry Kelly talking to himself
  16. Henry’s Cat – whimsical
  17. Tales Of The Unexpected – ‘bedtime Chris’
  18. Bread – it’s dated badly, but great tune. Particularly the ‘ooo-eee-ooo-ooo’ bits in the verses and choruses – also wins extra points for having cast members sing
  19. Birds Of A Feather – another one sung incredibly badly by cast members, but great tune. Also memories of Dorian (horny)
  20. News At Ten – arguably the first ever heavy metal song recorded (check out the metal bells!)
  21. Monkey – fucking mental

Top 3 Cheeses

  1. Wensleydale
  2. Saint Agur
  3. That one when they put chillis in

Top Underdogs

  • Michael ‘Eddie ‘The Eagle” Edwards – despite being appalling at his chosen sport (ski jumping), and despite looking like he’d walked into a wall then licked fetid piss off a nettle, he captured the hearts of the British public in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. He was at the time the best ski-jumper in Britain, which is a bit like being the best leg-spin bowler in Texas. But he overcame his appalling eyesight and complete lack of skill to be the only athlete ever to be mentioned in the closing speech at an Olympics. Eddie, we salute you.
  • Montgomery Brewster – a fictional character from the film Brewster’s Millions, written in 1902 by George Barr McCutcheon. It was made most famous in the adaptation starring Richard Pryor and John Candy from 1985 (probably). You know the story – bloke too old to carry out his dreams, too young to grow up, doesn’t know what to do with his life, everyone’s laughing at him behind his back a bit, but not a bad bloke by any stretch of the imagination. Obscure Relative dies, leaves Brewster with a million dollars. Or the challenge – he has to spend 30 million dollars in 30 days and then he’ll get Obscure Relative’s 300 million fortune. Brewster doesn’t like the snidey trustees who’ll get the loot if he doesn’t take up the challenge, so down-and-out becomes up-and-up with the help of his faithful pal Spike, who isn’t a dog, but probably should be. It looks like he’s not going to do it but at the last minute something convoluted happens, the underdog triumphs and a nation weeps. And he gets the girl. Best bit – when he buys the stamp and then posts it to the evil trustees. Genius.
  • Hull City AFC. I’m not particularly a football fan, but I am a huge fan of the city of Hull, hailing originally from there.

The Best Hull FC Rugby League Players I Saw When I Was a Kid

  • Dane O’Hara
  • Greg Mackay
  • Lee Jackson
  • Noel ‘Crusher’ Cleal
  • Andy Dannatt

The Best/Most Memorable Five Gigs I’ve Ever Done (In No Particular Order)

  • The Sisters Of Mercy, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2006 – Eight thousand Brazilians going bonkers. It was probably the closest thing I’ll ever do to a Take That gig, in terms of the roar of the crowd. I can’t wait to go back.
  • Robochrist, Leeds Festival, 2004 – A complete scam, I’ve no idea how I managed to blag it on there, and even less idea why the tent filled up so quickly. Maybe it was the rain about ten minutes before I went on. This day, I shaved a cross into my chest hair, healed the sick (Noah out of Normal Man/Yes Boss/Baby Food), had two Japanese men (Aki and Kazuto from Electric Eel Shock) pretend to be horses, and played metal guitar to the theme tune of British kids’ sitcom ‘Supergran’. Robochrist was a joke that went right, and I miss him. Occasionally.
  • Eureka Machines, Reading Festival, 2008 – Leeds was great and everything, but we knew a lot of people in the crowd so you feel a bit of a prick doing all the schtick, sometimes. However, Reading was just as busy and we got to pretend to be rock stars. That was a right laugh. And the food was ace.
  • Mouse! Mouse! Mouse! – a wedding, 2008 – a mate of ours asked us to form a covers band for his wedding, so we did, and this was the result. It was me, Whiskas out of Forward Russia, Chris from Whores, Whores, Whores/The Grand March, and John from International Trust. Covers included such classics as Should I Stay Or Should I Go, Teenage Kicks, Where’s Me Jumper? and a medley of No-One Knows by QOTSA and (I Wanna Be) 500 Miles by The Proclaimers. The most fun I’ve had at a gig, ever, ever.
  • God Damn Whores, on tour with Cardiacs, 2007 – I can’t pinpoint this to any one particular gig, as they were all an absolute shitpile of fun, but the main thing was that we got in my crap car for two weeks and went all over England (and one in Wales) doing gigs with Cardiacs, The Best Band In The World, and I was with Jon, Jase and Denzel, three of The Best People In The World. Particular highlights were the discovery that me and Jon both own the same Phil Cool book (Cool’s Out), a song called Petrochemical Ballbag, another song called Physical Training, The Face, Unemployment Man and general eating and boozing shenanigans every night. It was a time I will never forget.
  • Mariachi El Bronx, Les Nuits Festival, Brussels, Belgium – I got drafted into a tour with the lovely lads from The Bronx doing their very fun and very brilliant Mariachi side-project. Les Nuits was my first gig, I’d heard the album two days previously, and it was my first time playing that style of music. In a very natty suit, might I add. I felt like I did a reasonably good job of learning the tunes quickly and the first gig ended up probably being the best one. The rest was a jaunt around Europe with ace punk folksters Gogol Bordello. I like the Bronx guys a lot, and it was a whole heap of fun.

Favourite Cities Around The World In No Particular Order

Best Guitar Ever

  • Ibanez Iceman (I know they look stupid but I like them)

Top 1 Curry House in The World, Ever

  1. The Bengal Brasserie, Haddon Road, Leeds – if you ever get to go there, tell them Mr Chris sent you. Check out our Cribs video if you want to see Ici who works there doing an impersonation of Bono.

Top 7 Shops In Leeds

  1. Homemade Sauce Stall at Wetherby Market – I recommend Kashmiri Chilli and the piccalilli
  2. The Loony Bin joke shop in Armley (accepts Euros)
  3. Beer-Ritz, Headingley – not cheap but some outstanding booze in there
  4. Maumoniat International Supermarket, Hyde Park – some weird and wonderful stuff here
  5. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention Kirkgate Market – brilliant local produce and great people watching
  6. Culture Vulture on Duncan Street in town – some very strange but brilliant stuff in here
  7. General charity shopping in Headingley, Otley, etc

Top 3 Actual Band Names Ever

  1. Kool And The Gang. Does exactly what it says on the tin.
  2. Motörhead. Does exactly what it says on the tin.
  3. Donkey Tugger. I have no idea if they tug donkeys or not.

Top 2 Hypothetical Band Names Ever

  1. Ace Lads.
  2. Elvis Vicious – my shortlived idea about doing Elvis songs in a punk style, or punk songs in an Elvis style. Still might do it one day.

Top 4 Death Metal Band Names

  1. Agoraphobic Nosebleed
  2. Cannibal Corpse (think about it – they’re cannibals, AND they’re corpses. That means it’s dead people, eating other dead people. That’s surely about as metal as you can get.)
  3. Pig Destroyer
  4. Cryptic Coroner

Top 5 Things That I Can Cook

  1. Thai Green Curry with tofu
  2. Veggie meatball ‘bolognese’
  3. Chinese chilli
  4. Pizza crumpets
  5. Anything involving wraps

Top 5 Beatles Songs That Aren’t The Obvious Ones

  1. In My Life
  2. She’s Leaving Home
  3. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
  4. Old Brown Shoe
  5. Dear Prudence

Top 5 Beatles Songs That Are The Obvious Ones

  1. Penny Lane
  2. Magical Mystery Tour
  3. Help!