- 21 Sep 02
Even at his most flawed, however, Coughlan is a musical blueblood in a world of vinegar-veined pretenders. Long may he reign
Always at odds with the mausoleum of effete waxworks which passes for Irish rock royalty, Cathal Coughlan cuts an even more solitary figure in this glorious jubilee year.
Viewed from atop the slag-heaps of today’s musical wasteland, he looks like a musical Year Zero, with no antecedents, no descendants, no kinfolk of any kind. Yet Coughlan’s desire to make music which speaks with as much passion as it moves was once widely shared in these parts. Unfashionably gifted, literate and opinionated, he has no place in the modern record industry, and compliments don’t come much higher than that.
Since the late ’90s demise of Fatima Mansions, the world’s last truly great rock band, Coughlan has resisted any temptation to become house-trained or gentrified. He remains as impervious to the industry’s neglect as he was, in earlier years, to its commercial blandishments.