Cathal grew up in Cork, Republic of Ireland, although he's been resident in London for many years.

In 1980, Cathal formed Microdisney with fellow-frontman Sean O'Hagen. The combination of Sean's pop sensibilities with Cathal's more brooding and acerbic approach was paradoxical but fruitful. Unfortunately, the usual music industry problems meant that Microdisney never quite achieved the success it ought to have, and it disbanded after eight years.

Cathal went on to front Fatima Mansions (named after a Dublin housing estate), which allowed him to more fully vent his musical, lyrical and political spleen.

More recently, he's released several solo albums: Grand Necropolitan, Black River Falls (which Dave Gregory described as "some of the best music I've worked on outside XTC"), and most recently The Sky's Awful Blue. The band on the latter - Cathal on vocals and piano with James Woodrow (guitar), Audrey Riley (cello), Nick Allum (drums) and myself on double bass, have also played a few live gigs over the last couple of years.

Cathal has a wonderfully deep, dark voice, which can range from an ironic croon to unbearable anguish. He's a superb songwriter with a great knack for making the political personal.

His last couple of albums have perhaps seen a move to a gentler, more folk-influenced style... although the sadness, anger and acerbity which are his hallmarks still burn through.

For more details, check out Cathal's own site.