Catchers are an Irish indie band formed in 1993 and led by singer-songwriter Dale Grundle with Alice Lemon (vocals/keyboards). Former band members include Peter Kelly (drums), Ger FitzGerald (bass, until 1995), Craig Carpenter (bass, 1996 onwards) and Jonathan Lord (lead guitar, 1998).
Grundle and Lemon had known each other since their teens in Portstewart, Northern Ireland. Their first release, a 7″ called Cotton Dress, was recorded with Divine Comedy producer Darren Allison on Setanta Records and became Melody Maker’s Single Of The Week.
Mute, the band’s first album, produced by Mike Hedges, was released in 1994 to critical acclaim. Four years later the band released Stooping to Fit, their second album, recorded at the Cocteau Twins studios in London, and displaying strings and brass arrangements by Nick Drake’s collaborator, Robert Kirby.
After the Catchers last gig, on February 1999, the band went on a prolonged hiatus and, in 2006, news of Dale Grundle started working on a new project called The Sleeping Years,
which had four e.p. and a wonderful album, We’re Becoming Islands One By One (on Rocket Girl), out between 2007 and 2009.
In June 2019, Catchers reissued Mute on vinyl through the French record label, Les Disques du 7ème Ciel, and also released a live album and an album of outtakes, We Speak in Flames through TSY Records. That year, Dale and Alice reformed the band to play shows in France to promote the 25th anniversary edition of Mute and, in 2021 Dale and Alice began writing new material with drummer Roger Luxton, releasing Catchers new single Something’s Taking Over Me on 5 November 2021. A new Catchers’ album is due out in 2022.
What Dale Says: “The song is about passion becoming obsession“
“A blue vinyl 12″ of the first EP came out on the 3rd December through Les Disques du 7eme Ciel“
Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band – Too Much Time
I grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland which meant I had to travel 60 miles to find and buy records. On one of my trips to Belfast, I bought ‘Clear Spot’ by Captain Beefheart just on the basis of the band name. It became one of those records that I shared with my friends. My vinyl developed a little glitch which sounded like an extra beat on one of the songs so everyone who had a copy only knew that version. This is a very accessible version of Beefheart – he is soulful but still playful and the interplay of the guitars throughout the album is incredible.
The Soul Children – The Sweeter He Is Parts 1 and 2
My parents both loved music and played their records all the time at home. My mother loved soul music and it has stayed with me. I love that this track is in two parts with the switch being that extra little swing in the drums before the female vocals move to male.
Morphine – The Night
When we first moved to London from Northern Ireland we didn’t have much money. It was quite tough getting by sometimes. The great thing was that we often got into gigs for free and I was able to see a lot of bands who would never have made it to Belfast. We used to go to a venue called the Garage a lot and one of the bands I saw there was Morphine. This is such a lovely song with lots of great lyrical ideas: ‘You’re the night, Lilah. A little girl lost in the woods, You’re a folktale, the unexplainable’
Can – Don’t Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone
I discovered Can when someone stayed over in my flat In Portstewart and left a tape behind. It was Can – ‘Soundtracks’ and it introduced me to songs like ‘Mothersky’ and ‘Don’t turn the light on, leave me alone’. Everything on the record – from Jaki’s drumming to Michael Karoli’s guitar to the two vocalists – sounded unlike anything I had heard before.
Echo & The Bunnymen – Lips Like Sugar
I never really planned to be a guitarist. I was always more interested in songwriting than guitar playing but I ended up falling into the role. I remember learning a lot of Will Sergeant’s guitar parts when I first started – just by playing along to Echo & the Bunnymen albums on a loop. I loved how he was able to mix simple, melodic parts with really interesting sounds.
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey
The Mary Chain played in Belfast on the Darklands tour when I was a teenager and I managed to get a ticket. I can still remember the posters in the foyer of the venue which said something like: ‘The Jesus and Mary Chain do not play encores’. I loved Psychocandy – the sound / the look of the band / the album design. Catchers ended up recording parts of our first single at their studio and it felt amazing as a fan to be surrounded by all the guitar amps with ‘JESUS’ written on them. I may have used a few of their guitar pedals on the single too.
Sonic Youth – Expressway To Yr Skull
This is from Evol, the first Sonic Youth record I heard as a teenager. It really influenced my approach to the guitar, to different tunings, etc.
Elvis Costello – Crimes of Paris
‘Blood and Chocolate’ is one of those albums that I sang to and learnt every word by heart when I was younger. I probably still know most of the words now. When we were recording our second single ‘Shifting’, I kept hearing the backing vocals from ‘Crimes of Paris’ going through my head. Cait O’Riordan sings this one note line under Elvis Costello’s vocals, which rises to the top. I got Alice to do something similar on ‘Shifting’, repeating the word ‘loop’ over and over again under my vocal.
The 6ths – San Diego Zoo
When Catchers lived in the US I used to go into Manhattan and buy records on my days off. I picked this album up there. It was probably played a lot in the tour bus as we travelled from coast to coast. It reminds me of the kind of bands I listened to as a teenager.
Low – Always Trying To Work It Out
Harmonies have always been a feature of Catchers’ sound. I love how Alan and Mimi’s voices work in Low’s music. I have probably seen them live more than any other band.
Yumbo – A House (at Kasei No Niwa, Sendai)
German label Morr Music have been releasing lots of great Japanese music recently. I loved the Minna Miteru compilation and this track from Yumbo is full of invention and melody.