The Fatima Mansions' Evil Music Page

The lads in the band The Fatima Mansions were started in August 1989 by ex-Microdisney leader Cathal Coughlan, and released several inventive, angry, sweat- and blood-drenched albums and EPs before breaking up in 1996. Their influences were as diverse as Steely Dan, Scott Walker, Ministry and Leonard Cohen. Their songs and live shows were infused with raw emotion, black humour, blinding energy and unblinking, devastating views of the slimy white underbelly of "civilized" life, but they were also unafraid to show their quiet side. They covered songs based on how much they loved them and wanted to pay tribute (Richard and Linda Thompson's "The Great Valerio," Ministry's "Stigmata") or how much they despised them and wanted to rip them apart from the inside (R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People," Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You"). They baited soccer fans and Catholics whilst opening for U2 in Rome and lived to tell about it. Now howzabout that for brass balls? I think they are one of the most criminally ignored bands of the 90's, and I hope that this page will help increase awareness of the force that Kept Music Evil.
Gavin Wildes sent me the following story about the Mansions, which I think sums up quite well what they were like:
By the way, I was one of the very few to witness them play outside HMV, Henry Street in Dublin. They played three songs before getting cut off by the police. There was no stage or anything and all you could see was this policeman standing right in front of Cathal's face, asking him to stop playing midway through "Chemical Cosh." Cathal was totally ignoring him. I mean, for fuck's sake, all you could hear was "Chemical Cosh" belting through your eardrums and this copper is trying to reason with Cathal. When the song finished, Cathal said something to the effect of, "I think it's time for 'Angel's Delight'" ("Let's all kill some cops"). There were a couple of cops standing around the band at this stage trying to shut the performance down. The Fats managed to finish the song and even got "Viva Dead Ponies" in before the plug was pulled. Great memories.


KEEP MUSIC EVIL: The Unofficial Cathal Coughlan Discography: I put this together to cover Microdisney, the Fatima Mansions, Bubonique (his half-comedy half-headfuck side project), Cathal's current solo career and a couple other odds 'n' sods. Last Updated: 2003 4 21.

If you honestly give a shit about what the press has had to say about the band, click here to find out what they said.


These are neither supported by Cathal (I asked, but unfortunately he is presently unable to for legal reasons) nor included with his permission, so there are big holes in some of the songs (during parts where he thought it was "perfectly legible") and mistakes here and there. One time, Adam Ball of Ireland sent me some new/corrected lyrics and even gave me some cultural pointers for non-UK listeners. That was a great touch, and if anybody else can spot any more in the files and tell me about them, I'll be glad to include them. More have been gleaned from the scans of Kitchenware Records' The Hive newsletter at Valhalla Avenue.
Come Back My Children: Includes the debut EP Against Nature and a couple of odds and sods.
Viva Dead Ponies: The album that introduced me to the Mansions' sound, and still their greatest, in my opinion. Which is not to say that all the rest sucked.
Bertie's Brochures: An EP which put lots of emphasis on their quieter side, but also showcased their most scabrous moment: their evil twin cover of R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People."
Valhalla Avenue: Their most agitated album. It still had its softer moments, but most of the tracks were so vicious-sounding that Radioactive didn't release it in North America.
Lost in the Former West: Their last album, made after Cathal quit drinking, turned vegetarian and started meditating. It is proof positive that none of the aforementioned will diminish the quality and passion of an artist's work. An excellent note to end a chapter on.
Miscellaneous lyrics: Various B-sides, remixes (which frequently featured different lyrics) and compilation tracks. This file is far from complete, so if anyone wants to contribute missing songs or corrections, they will be appreciated and you will be credited.


Cathal Coughlan's Official Web Site: Various writings and audio files, including the lyrics (which is why they're not here) and MP3's of his now out-of-print first solo album Grand Necropolitan, and a discussion board.


Stop Pop and Roll Records: They have released Cathal's most recent solo album The Sky's Awful Blue in North America.
Cooking Vinyl: The label that released Cathal's second solo album Black River Falls in the UK.
Valley Entertainment: The reason why North Americans don't have to pay import prices to get Black River Falls.
Radioactive Records has deleted their Mansions titles and most references to them from their homepage, and Creation Records (including subsidiary Rev-Ola, which re-released Microdisney's Rough Trade catalogue) has closed up shop. Damn!


Microdisney Fansite: An exhaustive piece of work which includes downloadable and streaming multimedia.
djbluE's Fatima Mansions Page: Includes an encapsulated discography and details on how to join the Mansions mailing list.
A Pack of Lies: Another fan page, graphically intensive, beautifully designed and links to a lot of articles on the band.
Aaron Tap's Cathal Coughlan Discography: Not as much detail, but tidier design.
Valhalla Avenue, where are you now?


RAD Cyberzine's interview with Cathal.
That's it now. Everything else just fell away. I'm always looking for more. If you have a Mansions or related site or know of any, E-mail me and tell me all about it.

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