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Waxing Lyrical

“A fabulous evening. Listening to a classic album with folk to match! Love and respect to Rev, Ian and The CAT Club.”
Maxine Peake:
Award winning actor, producer and writer – The Velvet Underground and Nico.

“I had two brilliant nights at The CAT Club talking about my work with Oasis. A great time with good people.”
Owen Morris:
producer of Definitely Maybe and What’s the Story, Morning Glory by Oasis.

“Coming to the CAT Club confirmed it – my choice of a club to have copious quantities of cerebral and cultural crack was corroborated! My appearance at the CAT Club confirmed that I am the world’s expert on myself!”
John Helliwell:
Saxophonist with Supertramp  Breakfast in America.

“I had a really good time so I’m glad others did too! Being in The CAT Club to talk about Amy and that album was a real treat.”
 Dom Morley:
Producer and engineer – Back to Black by Amy Winehouse.

“Producing the Buena Vista Social Club record and film with Ry Cooder was a terrific experience. Talking about that experience at The CAT Club brought those fond memories back once again. Thank you everyone involved for a great night.”
Nick Gold:
Producer and head honcho of World Circuit Records – The Buena Vista Social Club

“A good time indeed. It was special to listen to ‘Ziggy Stardust’ after so many years in the company of a such knowledgeable audience.”
 Woody Woodmansey:
David Bowie’s drummer on Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars.

“Great to be in Pontefract at The CAT Club, a special night.”
Andrew Weatherall:
Producer and mixer on Primal Scream’s Screamadelica.

 “T’was a great night when Pontefract remembered Stiff. Great crowd and great IPA. Respect to our CAT Club host Rev Reynolds.”
Dave Robinson:
Co-founder of the legendary Stiff Records.

“I always enjoy being a guest at The CAT Club. Interesting, intimate and a unique experience.”
Clinton Heylin:
Journalist, author and leading Bob Dylan authority – Slow Train Coming, Live 1966 (“The Royal Albert Concert”), Blood on the Tracks (New York version) by Bob Dylan and various other CAT Club events.

“I had a brilliant evening at The CAT Club with Clinton Heylin talking about Bob Dylan’s gospel albums. Great fun, illuminating, great audience and very tuneful!”
The Bishop of Leeds, The Rt Revd Nick Baines –
Slow Train Coming by Bob Dylan

“A lovely evening spent with some true fans – great listeners, great questions and great company.”
Jon Astley:
Producer, engineer and master of the remaster – The Who Live at Leeds.

“I’ve had two wonderful nights at The CAT Club. So happy they invited me back again.”
John Wood:
Producer and engineer – Solid Air by John Martyn and Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake.

“The CAT Club is a great place to present. The audience is friendly, funny and right up close, the ambience is every bit as good as Yorkshire ale. I loved it and hope to return.”
Mark Lewisohn:
Author and leading Beatles authority – With The Beatles.

“What a wonderful and unique experience to reminisce and chat about the album ‘New Boots And Panties,’ that I made with Ian Dury and The Blockheads. To share my thoughts with such an attentive audience as The CAT Club was a joy and a privilege. All down to the enthusiasm and passion of Rev who made this event come to life.”
Chaz Jankel:
Co-writer & founder member of The Blockheads – New Boots and Panties by Ian Dury.

“I have very happy memories of visiting the CAT Club. Discussing The Beatles’ classic album Abbey Road in such great company, with such an appreciative audience, is one of the nicest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done.”
Tony Barrell: Journalist, author and Beatles enthusiast – Abbey Road by The Beatles.

“If I lived in England, I’d go to every CAT Club event.”
Iain Matthews:
Fairport Convention and Matthews Southern Comfort – No Other by Gene Clark (and several live in concert appearances).

“The CAT Club could not have made me feel more welcome and appreciated and the whole evening was just a brilliant experience. Music can bring people together in a way that few other things can and this event is testament to that.”
Richard Balls: 
Author of A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane MacGowan – Rum, Sodomy & The Lash by The Pogues.

“I’ve had a really good time, can I come again?”
 Howard Marks:
Author and purveyor of fine herbal substances – Cruising with Ruben and the Jets by The Mothers of Invention.

WHAT’S THE STORY …

THE CAT CLUB (Classic Album Thursdays):
A BRIEF HISTORY

On a cold Tuesday night in January 2011, eight souls gathered together in a converted garage (affectionately  known as ‘The Shed’) in downtown Pontefract to listen to a long playing vinyl record album by The Beatles. The record was Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and we played the original mono version on a 1960s Hacker Gondolier GP42 record player. We sat in silence to listen to it in full, sipped on our beer, and then had a bit of a row about it afterwards. Some would argue that, Sgt Pepper is the best record ever made – many would argue that it’s not even the best record The Beatles made – but few would dispute that it is possibly the most influential album ever made. It’s the record that elevated 12 inches of plastic stuffed in a cardboard sleeve into an art form. It was a fitting choice to begin our trip.

A trip that has featured some of the leading names in popular music coming along to present and talk about an album of their choice.

Before the second gathering we adopted the name, ‘Classic Album Tuesdays,’ which soon became known as ‘The CAT Club’.

It was a BYOB affair. We would take it turns to choose an album, and the selector would prepare an introduction, giving context for the record itself and the reasons they chose it. 

Often, these were very personal reasons, music is inextricably linked to our emotions. The vinyl would then be listened to in complete silence and afterwards we would discuss the relative merits of the record. Given the multitude of tastes and life experiences in the room, we seldom agreed but with a few exceptions – Iggy and the Stooges’ Raw Power and the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks split the room – conversation would be convivial. It became that the evening was an event in itself and it didn’t really matter too much if we enjoyed the record or not.

After we’d been round the block a few times with our own choices, we opened up the club to guest presenters. 

This introduced a theatrical element to the proceedings. Howard Marks came and presented Frank Zappa’s Cruising with Ruben & The Jets and afterwards regaled us with tales that were deemed too risqué to make it into his autobiography, ‘Mr Nice’. Former Inspiral Carpets’ vocalist, Tom Hingley presented a battered old copy of Dr Feelgood’s Down By The Jetty, told us how pivotal a moment it was when he bought that very record in Woolworths, and then sang us some songs. Graham Oliver of Saxon introduced a couple of Hendrix albums, then got out his guitar and showed us how Jimi did it.

We didn’t even play an album for the legendary double bass player, Danny Thompson, just a selection of songs from records he’d played on, interspersed with Danny’s anecdotes about working with John Martyn, Nick Drake, Marc Bolan, Roy Orbison, Rod Stewart et al, including playing on the soundtrack for the film Kes.

Eventually, after six years in ‘the shed,’ we moved to a more public gathering and met on a Thursday evening every month in Pontefract’s Tap & Barrel for the next three years. The CAT Club was now subtitled ‘Classic Album Thurdays.’ With our number extending to 40 souls for each event we stuck with the more theatrical formula and made guest presenters the standard format. We’ve had Grammy Award winning producers, some of rock’s finest journalists and renowned musicians come along to present an impressive list of albums (see below for a list of some of our guest presenters).

On occasions, the post-record show has turned into a full-blown gig. What did stay the same though was listening to the album in silence and absolutely no use of phones during the record. To some this may sound a little draconian, but we think it’s worth preserving. It’s a good opportunity in our busy lives to sit still, disconnect from the hubbub and be quiet for a while. Many people see it as a bit of a trip and hear things in a record that they’ve never heard before.

If you’d like to enjoy that trip come and join us and find out for yourselves what it’s all about. The CAT Club is now resident in the Pigeon Loft at The Robin Hood on Wakefield Road in Pontefract.

Happy Trails.

 

Some of our guest presenters have included: 

John ‘Twink’ Alder (Legendary former Pretty Things drummer) – SF Sorrow by The Pretty Things.

Jon Astley (Producer and engineer) – The Who Live at Leeds.

Richard Balls (Author of A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane MacGowan) – Rum, Sodomy & The Lash by The Pogues.

Nick Banks (Pulp drummer) – Different Class by Pulp.

Tony Barrell (Journalist and author of several books about ‘The Fab Four’) – Abbey Road by The Beatles.

Brian Bath (Guitarist, artist, cartoonist) – Never for Ever by Kate Bush.

Dave Beer (King of Clubs, purveyor of good times, tour manager, promoter) – The Clash

Ian Burden (Synthesiser/keyboard player with The Human League) with David M Allen (Engineer/producer) – Dare by The Human League.

Melissa Chemam (Author and journalist) – Blue Lines by Massive Attack.

Victoria Garbutt (The High Priestess of the Spoken Word) – The Doors

Nick Gold (Producer and head honcho of World Circuit Records) – Buena Vista Social Club.

Paul Hanley (Former Fall drummer and author) – Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division and Perverted By Language by The Fall.

Steve Hanley (Former Fall bassist and author) – The Complete Peel Sessions by The Fall (with Olivia Piekarski) and Perverted By Language by The Fall.

John Helliwell (Supertramp sax player) – Breakfast in America by Supertramp.

Clinton Heylin (Journalist and leading authority on Bob Dylan) – Bob Dylan Live 1966, The ‘Royal Albert HallConcert and Slow Train Coming by Bob Dylan and Blood On The Tracks (New York version) by Bob Dylan.

Tom Hingley (Former lead singer with Inspiral Carpets) – Down By The Jetty by Dr Feelgood.

Chaz Jankel (Musicial director, co-writer and co-founder of the Blockheads with Ian Dury) – New Boots & Panties by Ian Dury.

John F. Keenan (Legendary music promoter) – Forever Changes by Love.

Andy Kershaw (DJ, journalist and broadcaster) – Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan.

Dave Lewis (Leading Led Zeppelin authority and author) – Led Zeppelin IV.

Mark Lewisohn (Author and foremost Beatles authority) – With the Beatles.

Howard Marks (Author and purveyor of fine herbal substances) – Ruben and The Jets by The Mothers of Invention.

Iain Matthews (Musician, member of Fairport Convention, Matthews Southern Comfort, Plainsong) – No Other by Gene Clark.

Chris McClure (the face on the album cover) – Whatever They Say I Am That’s What I’m Not by Arctic Monkeys.

Dom Morley (Engineer and producer) – Back to Black by Amy Winehouse.

Owen Morris (Producer) – Definitely Maybe and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory by Oasis.

Jon Morter  (DJ, social media pioneer and campaigner) – Rage Against The Machine.

Graham Oliver (Former Saxon lead guitarist) – Are You Experienced  and Axis, Bold as Love by Jimi Hendrix.

Maxine Peake (Actor, writer and director) – The Velvet Underground & Nico.

Steve Pilkington (Author of The Rolling Stones 1963-1980 – On Track: Every Album, Every Song) – Let it Bleed by The Rolling Stones.

Gordon Raphael (Producer, musician and author) – Is This It by The Strokes.

John Robb (Journalist, broadcaster, singer with The Membranes) – The Stone Roses.

Dave Robinson (Co-founder, with Jake Rivirera, of Stiff Records) – The Story of Stiff Records.

Danny Thompson (Double bass player extraordinaire) – An Evening with Danny Thompson.

Andrew Weatherall (Producer, musician, DJ, songwriter, and remixer) – Screamadlica by Primal Scream.

Stuart Willoughby (Author of Minneapolis Reign: The Guide to Prince’s Hometown) –Purple Rain by Prince.

Si Wolstencroft (former Fall drummer and author) – Waiting by Fun Boy Three.

John Wood (Producer and Engineer) – Solid Air by John Martyn and Five Leaves Left‘ by Nick Drake.

Woody Woodmansey (Drummer from ‘The Spiders from Mars’) – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie.

Photographs, videos and audio recordings of some of our guests can be found by selecting the related links on the complete list of albums in ‘Our Back Pages.’

 

*The CAT Club and The CAT Club logo © K Reynolds 2011-2022