A good gauge of a band's popularity, I find, is to see how many plays they've accumulated on Last.fm. For example, the daddies of them all, The Beatles, have amassed a whopping total of 172,143,820 plays to date. The Rolling Stones, meanwhile, have racked up a healthy 41,176,357, The Smiths 38,610,847, The Kinks 16,776,569, Madness 4,211,755, Teenage Fanclub 2,452,694, Ride 1,956,548 and, erm, Bros 87,662.
Today's featured band, The Family Cat, may have only managed a paltry 18,553 Last.fm plays but, although relatively small in number, us fans are still as enthusiastic about their music as ever. How many Brosettes would still be able to claim the same of their own one-time favourites, I wonder?! (I'm guessing about three.)
In case you're under thirty and/or haven't come across them before, here's a bit about the Family Cat. Hailing from Devon, Hampshire and (mostly) Cornwall, and active between 1988 and 1995, the band had not one, not two, but three - count 'em! - guitarists, and made a pleasingly melodic racket (oxymoron alert!) that had a bit more oomph about it than a lot of the more shoegazy brand of indie doing the rounds at the time.
TFC released two full-length albums - 1992's Furthest From The Sun and '94's Magic Happens - and quite a few singles in their time, most of which I bought and all of which still sound tremendous. There was also a Rick Buckler-produced mini-album, 1989's Tell 'Em We're Surfin', which I've never heard, but which, apparently, was so badly produced that the band spent the rest of their career disowning it!
Anyway, I could have chosen many more TFC songs just as good as the ones you're about to hear (assuming you take the plunge and download them), but I settled on the three below.
(By the way, although their CDs are long out of print, the iTunes Shop seems to have the Family Cat's output pretty well covered, so get yourselves along there for lots more of the same.)
The Family Cat - Amazing Hangover mp3
Mildly Interesting Pop Fact #1 Amazing Hangover started out life as the third track on the Airplane Gardens single, which may well make it the best b-side ever.
The Family Cat - Steamroller mp3
Mildly Interesting Pop Fact #2 Steamroller is largely about Southampton FC, the team of choice of one the the band members. I just had to include it here, as Southampton are in the news today - having just been bought by a Swiss billionaire. Topical!
The Family Cat - Colour Me Grey mp3
Mildly Interesting Pop Fact #3 Colour Me Grey features backing vocals from P.J. Harvey. Whoever he is.
It's Friday . . . Let's Dance - Here is a bit of drum and bass from 1995. Alex Reese first came to attention with his releases on Metalheadz and and Moving Shadow but this is my favourit...
4 hours ago