Cathal Coughlan is one of the greatest modern singers and songwriters. His deep baritone has provided the front for three bands, and a solo career - and his pen has created some of the most vitriolic and angry rock music of the 80s and 90s.
Born in Ireland, Cathal first began singing publicly in the early 80s, forming a group with Sean O'Hagan called Microdisney. Blending well formed modern rock with harsh lyrics touching heavily on politics and social issues, Microdisney became mildly popular, and was signed to Rough Trade records, until 1987, when they signed to Virgin Records. Microdisney's biggest hit was 1988's Singer's Hampstead Home, about labelmate Boy George's infamous heroin addiction. However, soon after this, Microdisney split ways.
The next year, however, Cathal returned fronting his new band, the Fatima Mansions. Their debut EP Against Nature gave them a minor hit in the song Only Losers Take The Bus. The Fatima Mansions' sound was a great deal more harsh and dissonant and included touches of electronic music. While they did not have many hits, their scathing cover of Bryan Adams' song Everything I Do, I Do It For You was a minor success in the UK. Between the Fatima Mansions first and second albums, Cathal toured doing solo acoustic gigs as Fatima Mansions Singular, which showed a softer side of Cathal's stage presence. This did not last, of course, as when the Fatima Mansions opened for U2 in Milan, Cathal attempted to shove a Virgin Mary shampoo holder into his anus while singing "Fuck the Pope, I want to fuck your traitor Pope".
In 1995 the Fatima Mansions split up after their final album Lost In The Former West. Cathal released a solo album entitled Grand Necropolitan, and then released two albums with Bubonique, as well as scoring two films. In 2000, he returned to a solo career with the album Black River Falls. 2003 saw the release of Cathal's third solo album The Sky's Awful Blue. Despite a lack of major commercial success, Cathal Coughlan's position as one of the best singers of the late 20th century and beyond is unquestioned.