CAT SCRATCH FEVER: Death Western If you like a band that can mix instruments like guitar, banjo, piano,harmonica, bagpipes, didjeridu and ukulele along with the traditional rock instruments and also have great covers like Hot Dog Led Zeppelin , Ace Of Spades Motorhead along their original songs then you will like this excellent band that mixes country with Hard Rock to the best possible effect. 12 songs in this CD that is becoming more and more difficult to find nowadays Track listing 1. 1000 Miles
Label: Way Out West – WOWCD03
Format: CD, Album
Released: Feb 1997
2. 12 Bars (That Made A Fool Out Of Me)
4. Hot Dog
5. Ballad Of Claudia
6. When Payday Rolls Around
7. Dead Man’s Hand
8. Miss Sally
9. Ace Of Spades
11. Krystal Phoenix
12. I Never Knew What Hit Me. inspired by the 1950s Gregory Peck movie “The Gunfighter”, and the band’s performance was a thoughtful dramatic comment on the increasing glorification of weapons and man’s inhumanity to man, with a little bit of Wild West Show thrown in for good measure.
CAT SCRATCH FEVER….
Being a peculiar Liverpool cult band in the mid 1990s…..Featuring Paul Kappa as Dr. Hank B. Death….. a frock coated ,Colt Navy toting’ guitar player, ripping Country and Eastern apart, with his faithful pals Tox and Two-Gun Tennessee Slim
Cat Scratch Fever. A disease that you can catch. A cursory search of the web shows that Cat Scratch Fever is quite nasty, and that’s even before making reference to Ted Nugent.
Two ex members of Liverpool group ‘The Lawnmower’ Tony Doyle (The Accelerators, Simply Red, Bo Jelly) and D.A. Dolman ( The Moondogs, The Beach Bastards) asked Paul Kappa (The Blimey Brothers, The Cathedral, Candy Store Rock, Up and Running) in the late summer of 1992 if he would join with them in a musical appreciation of all things Sun Session. It was for a couple of gigs, and just for a kick. They played The Casablanca Club on Hope St. Liverpool and the reaction was so good they did it again and again and again, until in 1998, after more than 1800 gigs, Paul quit the band.
In those six years, they appeared at Glastonbury (1997) and Cropredy (1998), incidentally Paul’s last ever gig with the band. They appeared on MTV (big deal!) ITV, and Channel One cable!!! They were regulars with Mark Lamaar on his afternoon show on GLR, broadcast from Baker St. in London.
This line up of Cat Scratch Fever broke up in 1998, after what would be most pleasantly described as ‘personal differences’, or, put plainly that Dolman and Kappa didn’t like each other very much! Oh, the politics of making music. The two albums and off-shoot singles and EPs recorded were ‘Death Western’ and ‘The Big Bang!’
The first album ‘Death Western’ was begun in April 1994, and was recorded in Rick Rock’s ‘Wand Studios’ in a basement underneath a decrepit fish and chip shop, last decorated on VE day, and with fish stocks from the same era. Often the boys would eat their suppers there, warmed by under-table heating; surely one of the Seven Wonders of East Acton. Dolman and Doyle both contracted food poisoning and were forced to play the regular Wednesday gig in Guinans on Slater Street, Liverpool sitting down, and running to the toilet often.
The record producer was Dean Ross, who had been in an experimental line up of one of Robert Plant’s many bands, and also produced Betty Boo (who?). He was a friend of label boss Rick Rock out of Kansas City, and immediately recognised that the plucky power rockabilly trio from Liverpool couldn’t really play in time together, and so the year long recording process began, slowly, then more slowly. What resulted was the release, after a frustrating waiting game and two years of:
‘Death Western’ released by London label ‘Way Out West’ whose proprietor was one Rick Rock… drummer with Sham 69 and the Automatics, later with The Bootleg Beatles.
This Cd features ‘Ace Of spades’ by Motorhead featuring Elton John’s steel guitar player B.J. Cole and Led Zeppelin’s little known ‘Hot Dog’ sat side by side with the triplicate harmonies of Roy Rodgers and the Sons of the Pioneers,on the 1930s track ‘When Payday Rolls Around’ with strong influences from Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Johnny Cash , Earl scruggs and Bashful Brother Oswald. Self penned tracks such as ‘the Ballad of Claudia’, owe much to the spaghetti Western genre, with lyrics derived from Eastwood directed classics ‘Unforgiven’, and ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’, owing much to the mid-sixties stylings of Italian composer Ennio Morricone. ‘Miss sally’ is a red- necked rant at a trailer trash girl, ‘Louise’ is a hard- blues, influenced by Howlin’ wolf and Bo Diddley. ‘I never Knew What Hit Me’ is an odd tune,with Eastern influences about freakish events in the Kosovan war,featuring tabla player Kuljit Bahrmra and which, like 1000 miles appears re-recorded on ‘Living @ the End Of the World’. ‘The Krystal Phoenix’ is a ballad featuring the Duke String Quartet and Bobby Valentino on solo violin, and tells a story of a blue collar worker in Texas who returns home early one day to catch his wife Krystal ‘inflagrante delecto’ with an unknown trucker.Other tracks are written by bassist Tony Doyle, such as the Western Swing styled ’12 bars That made a fool out Of me’, Johnny Cash inspired ‘Gunslinger’, and ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ about Jack McCall who killed Wild Bill Hickock after a poker game and the hand of cards (aces and eights)he held became known as the ‘Dead Man’s hand’
4.0 out of 5 stars Man Walks Into A Bar…,
Okay, I got my long dark coat, my black cowboy hat, the place is smokin’… I’ve come to see a band that take their sartorial clues from Clint Eastwood and mix it up with wit, outrageous style, sexiness and originality. This album was created at the height of Cat Scratch Fever’s popularity in Liverpool – what a fabulous live band they were… Entertaining with a capital E, bluesy, country, rockin’ and, importantly, never ever, ever, dull. For the first few gigs I thought the songs they were playing were all covers but I was in for something of a shock: they were largely originals. This album contains much of their live set from the mid-1990s but somehow doesn’t manage to recreate the truly special atmosphere of a CSF gig. Someone out there missed a trick because these desperados have been sold short. Wonderfully funny songs such as 12 Bars, I Never Knew What Hit Me, and Dead Man’s Hand, sound good here, but somewhat flat. Too late for a re-mix, the line-up has changed and I doubt the interest is there. What a shame – this is one band that really deserved to make it BIG.
4.0 out of 5 stars I Never Knew What Hit Me (no honestly I didn’t…),
Sometimes you stumble upon a band in your local bar whose show is captivating. Those can’t be their own songs, right, they’re just too darn good for this place? Wrong! Okay, this album includes two covers, one a Led Zeppelin song and the other the classic Motorhead Ace Of Spades: but Capper’s raw vocal passion and electric dexterity lifts the latter right out of pack and onto the table. Unlikely you’ll ever bother with Motorhead’s original version again but, more importantly, several of their own compositions scream for airplay. The wonderfully tipsy 12 Bars, the Poker and whisky-drenched Dead Man’s Hand, the Carry On-style, double entendre of I Never Knew What Hit Me, and the foot-tapping, tongue-in-cheek Gunslinger.
For my money, Louise should have provided the storming opener for this collection of lyrically surprising and amusing murder ballads and roof raisers. The production of this album, however, lacks the firey delivery of the live show and fails to showcase the full power and potential of the band. There is still, however, plenty to occupy the virgin buyer and, happily, you can buy with confidence that yes! they really hack it live.”