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Interview // CATHOLIC ACTION No More on Guilt or Shame

It’s not a different band, it’s just the next step – CATHOLIC ACTION say before their London show. 

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Ryan Clark (Drums), Andrew Macpherson (Lead Guitar), Jamie Dubber (Bass) and Chris McCrory (Vocal/Guitar)

I caught up with the Scottish four-piece just before they were about to get on stage at The Dome Tufnell Park in London. And once again, they were supporting Swim Deep.

They’re really nice guys. Yes, already looking forward to seeing Cavan’s face – they mention.

Now you see who can’t get rid of whom, right?

The last time we spoke, Catholic Action were about to enter the studio to focus on some recording (read more in the latest interview). How did it go then?

We’re in the midst of it right now – Chris McCrory starts. Literally, we’re going back to continue recording our album right after the gig.

Alright, it’s an album then. Finally, some concrete details.

We recorded with a few different people and as an engineer myself I’m really picky when it comes to recording artists – McCrory continues. I can hear what it should sound like in my head. And it feels like we’ve finally found the right person that can do that. She just takes it out of the comfort zone in the best possible way. So it really pushes us into a more exciting direction and gets us to open up. It’s just really a great experience and it’s nice to be back here again.

What direction are you taking?

We’re excited – the lead singer explains. Taking what we have and push it. Just having fun with it really.

I think before, when we entered the studio, we tried to just record it as we played it live – Ryan Clark adds. But now we’re quite open to experimentations.

Sounds big – they all admit.

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It’s not a different band, it’s just the next step


As the band unveils the new material will sound heavier. Not metal heavy but heavy. It feels great – they say.

You know what, you’re gonna hear some songs that are still us but are new tonight – the frontman states. It’s not a different band, it’s just the next step. Within this year you will hear some music that we’ve been working on. A release in the summer possibly. It’s exciting. We’ve got our single coming out on Mar 18. I listened to it the other day and it’s nice to finally get the physical record.

At this point I get a story about getting drunk, picking the single up, playing it on a full blast at 2 am and waking everyone up in the house, plus a sister shouting at them to shut up. Well, I guess the band are really excited about this record coming out.

L.U.V. (due Mar 18 via Luv Luv Luv Records) is Catholic Action‘s first official single. But why did they go for this particular one? And what’s the story about it?

There was one different version of it – McCrory explains. There’s a lot of limited edition releases in Glasgow. Over last year we put like 11 or 12 tracks out on different cassettes. Maybe a hundred copies each. And we figured that maybe L.U.V. would be a good introduction to the band, you know. It’s an exciting song.

L.U.V. – Linthouse Urban Village is a place in Glasgow – an area called Govan where our drummer lives. And there was one particular NYE party… Let’s say it was one particular mad occasion in a notorious area of Glasgow. Someone was very sick at it basically..

It’s quite funny though because when it was played on Radio 1 somebody said “Oh sucking up to the record label a bit early lads”. When we explained what it stood for he just sent a wink back – Jamie Dubber recalls

We talk some more and I find out that guys are listening to MONEY’s and Mystery Jets’ new albums now, I get a nice story about Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s record and apparently they don’t let go of the past that easily. You should check ABBA Gold if you haven’t already – I hear from Clark. I can always count on these lads to recommend me some good music.

What’s next then?

The single is coming out and then we’re going on our first UK headline tour. Then straight onto festivals after that: The Great Escape, Live at Leeds, a few Scottish ones and a few to be announced [see dates below].

At the end I ask the band to give me one word to encourage people to come down to their shows.

It’s classic pop music played somewhere between glam rock and post punk

I think it’s classic pop music played somewhere between glam rock and post punk – McCrory says. For me it’s just well structured guitar music. That’s quite wordy but totally not what you wanted us to give you.

Oh well, I’m used to it now.

Anything you would like to add?

Don’t you want to ask Ryan about his magnificent shirt? – McCrory laughs. It’s Ryan’s birthday tomorrow.

It’s my birthday and I can wear my fave shirt! – Clark sums up.

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Make sure to check out the photo gallery of Catholic Action‘s show here and mark these dates in your diary!


29 Manchester – Fallow Cafe
30 London – Sebright Arms
31 Glasgow – Nice ‘N’ Sleazy


01 Aberdeen – Underdog

Photo: Kasia Osowiecka