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Friday, 21 September, 2001, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Troubled Catatonia split up
Cerys Matthews
Cerys Matthews's illness led to tour cancellation
Welsh pop group Catatonia has split up after 10 years together, it has been confirmed.

Record company Warners said the decision to part company was "amicable," but said there were no details on the quintet's future plans.

Their decision has been made entirely amicably, and there are no details at present as to their future plan

WEA record (Warners)
Singer Cerys Matthews, 32, was recently treated at a clinic for "anxiety and exhaustion" brought on by smoking and drinking

They were health problems which forced the band to cancel a promotion tour in support of new album, Paper Scissors Stone.

The band should have mounted an eight-date tour in July, but not even the rescheduled dates for September were able to go ahead because the singer had not yet recovered.

Rumours dismissed

Catatonia dismissed reports last month of the band's imminent demise as "rubbish" while the record company said the rumours were "pure speculation."

Cerys's well-being was of paramount importance, WEA said.

It follows Cerys's recent admission she had suffered from depression

However, a statement issued by WEA on Friday read: "They have thought about this for quite a while and they decided it was best to put it to bed.

"Their decision has been made entirely amicably, and there are no details at present as to their future plans.

Catatonia, at Radio 1
Catatonia on the Steve Lamacq Radio 1 Session show, December 2000
"We'd like to thank everybody who has supported us down the years, and given us a lot of great memories."

Radio 1 Session in Wales presenter Huw Stephens lamented the loss of "international superstars."

"They had the personality, they had the tunes, and they were rock 'n roll to the bone," he told BBC News Online.

'Cool band'

"They were a very cool band and they enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame, but possibly a bit too much at times.

"I always thought they were one of the best Welsh bands. They were not just a throwaway pop band - they had real, meaningful songs.

"Cerys has a fantastic voice and I hope she overcomes her problems."

Together with the charismatic Cerys, Mark Roberts, Owen Powell, Paul Jones and Aled Richards had been busking and treading the circuit in Wales long before the catchy top ten single Mulder and Scully made them UK stars in 1998.

Cerys Matthews
Cerys: Undergoing treatment
At the time of their first release in 1993, For Tinkerbell, Matthews and Roberts were an item.

Richards and Powell later joined as drummer and guitarist respectively and the band released debut album Way Beyond Blue in 1996 to subdued acclaim.

It was Mulder and Scully which carried the album International Velvet to the top of the charts two years later and paved the way for more single success and a follow-up collection, Equally Cursed And Blessed, in 2000.

Ebullient Cerys Matthews became known for her fun-loving appetite for the celebrity lifestyle, but that album and the latest release focused on more downbeat subject matter.

Radio 1's Huw Stephens said the loss of the band was "really, really sad."

'Intelligent female'

Cardiff-born music editor of Maxim magazine Iestyn George said the band believed they were fading out when International Velvet became a massive hit, making Cerys "an accidental role model."

"Success didn't come easy - they were far from an overnight sensation," he said.

"Around 1998 and 1999, Cerys was in the papers every other day and was, in fact, very influential.

"There are few women as self-determined, powerful, intelligent and articulate as her and she wiped other female artists like Natalie Imbruglia off the face of the earth with her charisma."

He said they were the only band in history to sing in an exagerrated Welsh accent, and represented a whole era.

"Cerys has got a battle ahead of her, but she also has a very long life ahead of her," he added.

She has reportedly finished recording her debut solo album.

See also:

15 Aug 01 | Wales
Catatonia cancel autumn tour
26 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Cerys admitted to rehab centre
31 Jul 01 | Music
Catatonia cancel Guildford
07 Jul 01 | Wales
Catatonia given Royal approval
12 Oct 99 | Wales
Catatonia worn out by fame
30 Sep 99 | Rugby World Cup
Stars come out for Wales
08 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Cool Cerys comes top
03 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Tom singles out Cerys
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