A Catherine Wheel reunion isn’t totally out of the question, according to Rob Dickinson.
The front man for the ’90s U.K. alt-rockers responsible for such singles as Black Metallic, The Nude and Crank even proffered a time frame: Just not this year.
“Everyone still keeps in touch,” Dickinson tells Metro of his relations with guitarist Brian Futter, drummer Neil Sims and latter-day bassist Ben Ellis. “It might be 2010 as the time to think about doing something again. But we’ll see.”
Ideally, that would mark 20 years since Catherine Wheel first formed in Great Yarmouth, England, and 10 years since the “parking of the band,” as Dickinson affectionately calls it, following its fifth record, Wishville.
For Canadian fans, the last known sighting of Catherine Wheel was during Our Lady Peace’s cross-country Summersault musicfest in 2000. But Dickinson explains by that time, “Some of that sense of adventure had disappeared. There was no reason for us to keep slogging away other than to please ourselves. We all had other things we wanted to do.”
Futter and Sims immersed themselves in a project called 50 Ft. Monster and Ellis joined a new group, Serafin. Dickinson, meanwhile, moved to New York and later California (where he now calls home), reignited an old passion for designing high-end sports cars (Porsches in particular) and working at a snail’s pace toward his 2005 solo debut for Sanctuary Records, Fresh Wine For The Horses.
“(The record) took a long time to get ready in the first place — I tend to be notoriously slow at everything,” he jokes.
Even after its release, Dickinson still felt the disc could be improved. While he says Sanctuary might not have initially given the record its proper due — the label disappeared in late 2007 — he credits interest from producer pal Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Catherine Wheel) and Universal Canada president and CEO Randy Lennox in giving a reworked Fresh Wine, re-released last week on the Fontana International label, a second shot.
“It was that rare opportunity to be able to reassess the record by messing around with the sequencing,” he says, “doing some editing, remastering and adding a new song, The End Of The World, plus the second disc Nude (with six acoustic reworkings of Catherine Wheel favourites). I genuinely think this album is now in a state where it should’ve been the first time around.”