Why did The Catch draw such a good following?
Firstly, we had a great song list. It was all high energy guitar music, with many Australian favourites mixed in with global classics. The only slow song we did was "Patience", which Jarrod sung on his own at the start of the second set. Then it was back to pace and fun. I was always amazed at the dull songs other bands played like tame ballads or uninspired originals. So that was one element.
There were a few other things though. For a start, we had a better singer and guitarist than any other band. Jarrod's vocals were peerless, and Andrew had been a great guitarist at 14 (I'm not exaggerating that). At 17 he could do anything.
But even that doesn't explain it. There were other good singers and guitarists, and the difference would have been lost on much of the crowd. We had something else, I think, that indefinable element that performers lust after, and only sometimes find. That little band had chemistry, and I can't definitely explain why.
One reason, I think, was that we were all so different. It's funny, you see the early gigs and we all dressed the same, with collared shirts and dress jeans. A couple of gigs into the SUS Club run and we were so comfortable we dressed how we felt on stage. Jarrod dressed in a big paisley shirt, with a real hippy look. Andrew had grown his hair out (it looked so much better) and went on stage with torn jeans, an old vest and a bare chest. He was the rocker. Graeme had this casual blue jeans look going. Me? Well, I wore dark jeans, a dress shirt and this little black vest over the top. A bit hipster (except we'd never heard that word). Oh well.
Now, bands are vainer than teenage girls, and you'd be surprised to know that some tough rock guys spend hours arguing about how they would dress. There were so many poseurs around. We were not poseurs. We just got up, looked how we looked, and played great music. There was an honesty about that - so many bands, I feel, are trying to deceive the crowd in some way, with an image or a message that is really alien to them.
But I'm not saying that people came to see us because we dressed individually. That would be a bit stupid. Even though we were obviously such different people (and we were), there was a real unity and shared energy when we got on stage. We really liked and respected each other, and that just came across on stage.
People often project themselves into bands they enjoy. You have this idealised vision of the band as great friends, hanging out together, existing in a kind of harmony. People crave deep and intimate friendship, with it's intricate unity, seems to project that. When you got four guys on stage who were so obviously different, yet were connected by friendship, respect, affection and a shared purpose - this all comes out on stage.
A friend of mine explained it best back then. We were watching another band play one night. They were good musicians but the crowd were not interested. I asked Mark what the difference was between them and us. Mark said, "These guys are great, they really are. But when you watch them play, it's like seeing 4 bits of energy on stage. When you guys play, it is one big ball of energy. That's the difference."