The Family Cat

The Family Cat

The Family Cat were a British independent band formed in Stoke Newington, London in 1988. Three members were originally from Cornwall, one from Plymouth and one from Southampton.

The band played live for 5 years and recorded 3 albums, the mini-album Tell 'em We're Surfin', released on South London independent label Bad Girl Records, and its full-length follow-ups, Furthest From The Sun and Magic Happens, released by Dedicated Records. The band never quite capitalised on the momentum generated by the success of debut single "Tom Verlaine", which was named Single of the Week by the NME, although the band's final LP, Magic Happens entered the lower reaches of the album chart and "Airplane Gardens", about the same for a week on the UK Top 50 Singles. Mainly The Family Cat would place many singles on the UK Indie Chart including "Steamroller", a slow burning 8 minute blast of rock'n'roll.

They also grabbed headlines by naming one of their songs "Bring Me The Head of Michael Portillo" and later turned their attention to Jonathan Aitken who was so incensed that the proposed single was shelved.

Influenced by the last 30 years of popular music from the Beatles to Scott Walker to the Velvet Underground, their music was very melodic and radio friendly, but in spite of critical acclaim the band were unable to reach the heights of "Britpop" bands like Oasis or Blur.

Amongst their covers were a version of The Beatles' "Across the Universe", The Rolling Stones' "Rocks Off" and Scott Walker's "Montague Terrace (in Blue)".


  • Paul Frederick (guitar, vocals)
  • Tim McVay (guitar)
  • John Graves (bass)
  • Stephen Jelbert (lead guitar)
  • Kevin Downing (drums)

Some members were once in a Cornish punk-indie band called Clive who played at ULU.



Year Album Billboard 200 Official U.K Album Charts Top Digital Albums UK Indie Chart Label
1989 Tell Em We're Surfin - - - 6 Badgirl
1993 Furthest From The Sun - - - Dedicated
1995 Magic Happens - - - Dedicated


  • "Tom Verlaine" (1989) Bad Girl (7-inch flexi-disc/12-inch) (UK Indie #6)
  • "Remember What It Is That You Love" (1990) Bad Girl
  • "A Place With No Name" (1990) Bad Girl
  • "Colour Me Grey" (1991) Bad Girl
  • "Jesus Christ" (1991) Clawfist
  • "Steamroller" (1992) Dedicated
  • "River of Diamonds" (1992) Dedicated
  • "Airplane Gardens" (1993) Dedicated (UK #69)
  • "Springing the Atom" (1993) Dedicated
  • "Wonderful Excuse" (1994) Dedicated/RCA (UK #48)
  • Goldenbook EP (1994) Dedicated/RCA (UK #42)

After The Family Cat

Paul Frederick

Paul Frederick later formed Pure Grain, who made one EP for their own Supple Pipe label, entitled "Here Come The Millionaires".

Choosing to concentrate on studio work, Pure Grain changed their name to Jack Adaptor in 2004. Their first, self-titled album was released on Schnitzel records in November 2004, with a single "No Logos" on the same label. This was followed up by "Road Rail River" (again on Schnitzel) in 2005 and "Right Royal", released on the band's own Supple Pipe label, followed in early 2006. The latest LP "Swimming Pool Lies" will be released on Imprint Records on November 17th 2008. The band is now Paul Frederick (vocals) and Christopher Cordoba (all instruments/production).

John Graves

John Graves is now a wine expert resident on the South Coast of England, living "the quiet life" in contrast to his career in the early 1990s.

Steve Jelbert

Steve Jelbert is currently working as a freelance journalist based in London, often writing for the national British newspaper The Times.

Tim McVay and Kevin Downing

Tim McVay and Kevin Downing are working at Zebedees, a youth development centre in Truro, Cornwall. The project is heavily musically based and amongst other duties they both teach instruments, and help develop young bands. In 2007 the project formed its own record label "Zebs Records" and have to date released one album; a compilation of new Cornish acts called "The Sound Of Young Cornwall". The album has achieved local and national radio plays and received much critical acclaim, again, from both local and national papers.


External links

Search another word or see The Family Caton Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature