GLASGOW'S rising indie band Catholic Action come to the Tooth and Claw on Thursday, February 23. their song Rita Ora has captured the attention of the star herself, as frontman Chris McRory reveals in his answers to KYLE WALKER's questions...
Q Over the last few years, you’ve been up in the Highlands an awful lot. What keeps you coming back?
A There’s a lot more to Scottish music than Glasgow. Genuinely, I never really appreciated Scotland very much until I started touring around with bands. I finally understood why tourists come here from all over the world. And that’s just the driving. We love playing Glasgow, but we’ve always had a great time elsewhere too – especially up north. So we always make a point of playing up there when we tour.
Q You’ve recently signed with new independent label Modernsky – how did that come about? How is this going to change things for the band?
A Very simply. Dave, the head of Modern Sky heard some tracks from the album and liked them. He came up to our rehearsal space and we just clicked. It’s really important to us that we work with people that understand us as a band and Modern Sky do exactly that. Their values chime with ours.
As for changes, it’s nice to have a bit of infrastructure and muscle behind us now. It takes the pressure off one area – while adding it to another – and that, crucially, frees us up to do what we love the most. Writing, recording and playing songs.
Q After several acclaimed tracks, you’re planning on releasing your debut album later this year. How’s that coming along? Any tracks you’re particularly proud of?
A It’s all finished and currently being mixed. We recorded it in London with producer (and therapist) Margo Broom. I wish you could hear it now. I want to see it spinning on my turntable. We’re enormously proud of it as it stands, and we’re so excited we’ve went and written most of LP #2...
There are a lot of tracks on there nobody will have heard yet. There are some live favourites too. It’s a lot more thoughtful, musical and darker than you might expect.
Q Do you know if Rita Ora’s heard Rita Ora? And if so, what did she think?
A Rita Ora has in fact heard the song. She said and I quote, it was the best song she has ever heard. And that it was her #newthemesong. No word of a lie. Check Twitter. We were all at a party together when we found out. That was a good night.
Q You’ve supported some big names over the last few years – The Libertines, FFS, etc. Any good stories?
A Alex Kapranos made me dinner once at The Barrowlands. He insisted on me trying the dessert. His word is good. The dessert was A+.
There are some others, but they might embarrass Pete Doherty.
Q What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
A As of right now, my favourite gig was probably supporting Swim Deep London’s Roundhouse. That venue is truly iconic, it was the end of the tour and we played so well. Pure adrenaline.
Q What’s the nicest thing anybody’s said about Catholic Action? And what’s the most horrible thing?
A Well, the other day on Twitter @VIRGILKAY5 said that we look like the kids from The Goonies with Harry Potter. I thought it was a rather astute observation. I’ll let you decide whether that’s nice or not.
Q How would you describe your music to new fans? Or, for example, somebody’s granny looking around HMV for a gift?
A I don’t really feel qualified to answer this, so I’ll turn to the person nearest me and ask them.
I ask and she rolls her eyes, exhales and buries her head in her hands. An excruciating period of time passes. Emerging from her hair she beckons me closer, and whispers, "It’s probably classic guitar pop. With inverted melodies. That are sort of catchy. Like Big Star if they weren’t on anti-depressants".
We shrug in silent agreement. And move on.
Q What can people expect from your live shows?
A Four tight musicians playing exciting guitar music. We’re singing and shouting and thrashing. It’s loud and it’s real. 100% analogue.
Q If you could pick one of your songs for a complete newcomer to Catholic Action to listen to, what would it be and why?
A Listen to L.U.V. It has loud guitars, Oi-Oi drums and sing along vocals. It’s good all round and it goes down well live. It was our first single for exactly those reasons. Rock and Stroll.
The band plays the Tooth and Claw on Thursday, February 23.