“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is very, very special to the story of the original Velvet Sheep fanzine. When I started selling it (Sale or Return naturally) in Rough Trade Record shop when it was in the basement of Slam City Skates in Neal’s Yard, I thought I’d buy some other zines to compare and contrast. Submerge fanzine caught my eye, and it had a flexi disc on it too (bonus) with a band called Cat’s Paw on it. It transpires that Submerge editor Alex was the bassist and leader of Cat’s Paw whose sound really grabbed me in a Drop Nineteens meets Pixies kinda way. Alex, like those bands was originally from Boston, but now lived in West London, and when I wrote to him (actually wrote a letter, it was the early 90s) he not only wrote a charming reply but also sent me a ton of mail addresses and contacts for record labels and PR contacts. I got busy and wrote to many, sending copies of the zine – the likes of Wyndham Wallace at Real Time, Gary at Wiiija and Rob Tennant at Southern, all of whom became great friends. Not only that it helped put VS on the map. I started getting sent way more records for review – i got exactly 365 records, tapes and CDs in 1993 and something like 500 odd in ’94, way more than I ever got in 10 years at MTV that was my first proper job (’96 to ’06).

I became mates with Alex and asked Cat’s Paw to play my 18th birthday party in ’93. It was a legendary night (ps. unfortunately the toilets got trashed but that’s not his fault!). The band stayed at my Dad’s in Gravesend (very well behaved they were) and later on I used to pop and see Alex at his pad up near the Fulham ground. If it wasn’t for him, Velvet Sheep fanzine might not be what it was/is, so it’s a big thanks and a welcome back to Alex Geckoah!

(ps. the video of Cat’s Paw above features some pix my Dad took of the band playing at my 18th!)

In 1995 when I was in my first year of Uni at Queen Mary & Westfield, London, I returned to my halls of residence from a night out to find a post it note saying that Velvet Sheep fanzine had been mentioned on air by my hero John Peel. My mate Tom on the same floor had heard it, but unfortunately hadn’t taped it. But guess who had! Alex from Cat’s Paw! And here it is…!


I’ve taken my good time about getting Alex up on the resurgent VS site, but it’s worth the wait, so without further ado…

“I saw Magnapop live at Reading circa 1993 and enjoyed their record a lot. I still play that song at full volume all the time in my car over and over and get goosebumps all over.

It’s heavy, simple yet relaxing. Great vocal and guitar interplay.”