Singer Cathal Coughlan dies aged 61

, the frontman of the famed indie bands Fatima Mansions and Microdisney, passed away at the age of 61. He “slipped away gently in hospital after a protracted illness,” according to his relatives.


Coughlan, who was born in Cork and created Microdisney with guitarist Sean O’Hagan in 1980, moved to in 1983.


Playing a mix of smooth and jangly indie-pop, they only had a fleeting taste of national success when their single Town to Town came close to reaching the UK Top 40, but they quickly gained a following in the UK and Ireland indie scenes, recording multiple sessions for John Peel.

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After Microdisney disbanded in 1988, Coughlan formed Fatima Mansions, which branched out into anything from furious punk-influenced rock to Europop and romantic balladry, with Coughlan’s dramatic, full-throated delivery earning him praise.

He later described his perspective as “an outlaw mentality” during the time. The experience of being in a band that was going well and then crashing out was unpleasant, and I was living on a whirlwind of beer and caffeine.


” For a leg of U2’s Zoo TV tour in 1992, the band had a surprising Top 10 hit with an unsettling trip-hop cover of Bryan Adams’ (Everything I Do) I Do It for You (on a double A-side single with Manic Street Preachers’ cover of the MASH theme).

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Musician Luke Haines, who worked with Coughlan on the high-concept project The North Sea Scrolls, was among others who paid tribute.

“I’m at a loss for words right now.” “Really just sadness and rage,” Haines tweeted.

“His excellent tunes survive,” wrote Tim Burgess of the Charlatans. Remember him by playing them loud.”

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