Saturday, 1 May 2010
West End Pad
"I've tried a West End pad and a classic car, my favourite drink in my favourite bar, a few close friends and a movie star ..." sings hard-to-please Cathy Dennis on her hit West End Pad. I'm no expert on her work but I do find Cathy is one of the more fascinating figures in the pop world. And I suspect if Paul Morley were to write his Words And Music now he would focus rather more on Cathy - perhaps as some long lost twin of Davy Henderson - for following up Can't Get You Out Of My Head with Toxic and I Kissed A Girl. She's certainly retained more mystery than say the Xenomania folk. I do find the whole songwriting craft thing intriguing. A lot of my favourites have struggled to write songs for people apart from themselves. Paul Weller and Saint Etienne, for example. But Cathy is this incredibly successful writer with a gift for creating songs for the performer, you sense, whatever the market. And she's withdrawn from being a commodity herself, not releasing a record since the Am I The Kinda Girl set which West End Pad came from. That record itself is intriguing for the presence of Ray Davies and Andy Partridge, which at the height of the Britpop thang was a neat piece of one-upmanship.