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Cathi Unsworth

Cathi Unsworth

Cathi Unsworth is a novelist, writer and editor who lives and works in London. She began her career on the legendary music weekly Sounds at the age of 19 and has worked as a writer and editor for many other music, film and arts magazines since, including Bizarre, Melody Maker, Mojo, Uncut, Volume and Deadline.

Her first novel THE NOT KNOWING was published in 2005, followed the next year with the award-winning short story compendium LONDON NOIR, which she edited, and in 2007 with the punk noir novel THE SINGER. Her third novel, BAD PENNY BLUES, inspired by the unsolved 'Jack the Stripper' murders of 1959-65 was published in 2010 to great critical acclaim. Her fourth novel WEIRDO, was published in 2012. This tale of female transgression and teenage trauma set on the Norfolk coastline was shortlisted for the EDP-Jarrolds East Anglian book of the year, made Book of the Year in Loud & Quiet magazine and on and is currently longlisted for the New Angle Prize for Literature.

As well as working on her books, Cathi has appeared on TV and radio including reviewing for BBC2's The Culture Show. She regularly takes part in live events, including screen talks at The Barbican in London and spoken word gigs organised by Tight Lip and The Sohemian Society. She has also presented her work as live readings with music and audio accompaniment.

All her books are published by and available from Serpent's Tail. For more see

Cathi Unsworth's website

List of articles in the library by artist

Alien Sex Fiend, Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, The Cult, The Cure, Fields Of The Nephilim, Flesh For Lulu, Marc Almond, The Mission, Nick Cave, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Sisters of Mercy, Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction: Exit The '80s — Goth: Bats Out Of Hell

Overview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, September 1989

It's been the decade of the goth — but, somewhere along the line, the innovation of The Birthday Party, the Banshees and the Sisters gave ...

Marc Almond: Beauty and the Beast: Marc Almond: Enchanted (Some Bizzare) ***½

Review by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, June 1990

SO IT SEEMS the men in black have changed their colour to red this year. After Nick Cave's heaven scented Good Son, the romantic trickser ...

Band of Susans: The Band Of Susans: Wake Up! It's The Susans

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, November 1987

THE BAND OF SUSANS kick started in New York and kicked prick in Berlin. CATHI UNSWORTH discovers that they're a blessing in disguise ...

The Birthday Party, Nick Cave, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Nick Cave: Worshipping The Son

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, November 1990

For the second of our special Fan Files, we look at Nick Cave, the singer who's so damn slinky and shaggable that even women want ...

Frank Black, Cypress Hill, Flaming Lips, Gang Starr, Hole, The Lemonheads, Pavement, Transglobal Underground, The Verve: Cypress Hill, Lemonheads, Verve, Hole et al: Reading Festival

Live Review by Cathi Unsworth, Melody Maker, September 1994

READING.It's like acid; once you've tried it you swear you'll never be back for more, and yet you always are. Perhaps it's because this festival ...

Chapterhouse: Grooves in the house

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, September 1990

CHAPTERHOUSE have been denied their rightful place at the top of the Wah Wah Gods league by the likes of Ride and Swervedriver. But they'll ...

The Cramps: Torch Songs

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Melody Maker, October 1994

The Arch-Uberfuhrers of Satanic Rockabilly Camp aka The Cramps are back! With their best album for eight years! Talkin' 'bout the ejaculatory properties of rock'n'roll! ...

Fields Of The Nephilim: Apocalypse Now (or maybe next week)

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, June 1989

Their latest single is about Armageddon and Fields Of The Nephilim mainman Carl McCoy reckons that the end is nigh. Cathi Unsworth listens to his mystical musings and gets a few survival ...

Fields Of The Nephilim: See Ya Later, Terminator

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, February 1991

What do you do with a dusty, chaotic rock star who looks like the Grim Reaper? Why, cast him as himself in your movie and ...

Gallon Drunk: Tonite... The Singles Bar (Clawfist)

Review by Cathi Unsworth, Melody Maker, March 1992


Jane's Addiction: Marquee Club, London

Live Review by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, March 1991

THERE WERE rumours abounding this morning that Led Zeppelin were going to play a secret gig at the Marquee two days after Jane's Addiction. Had ...

L7: Babes In Boyland

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Melody Maker, August 1992

In last week's Great Metal Debate, L7 just couldn't f***en believe there are people out there so moronic that they can't tell these gals from ...

Loop: The Feedback of the 5,000 Volts

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, December 1990

LOOP have long been associated with a wall of sound that is guaranteed to play havoc with the senses. CATHI UNSWORTH learns exactly what it ...

Nine Inch Nails: The Story Behind The Song: 'Head Like A Hole'

Retrospective by Cathi Unsworth, RAW, September 1995

"Synth faggot," that was how Nine Inch Nails mainman Trent Reznor attempted to describe himself to a bewildered press when he first appeared supporting Guns ...

Nitzer Ebb: Re-Pressing The Start Button

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, March 1990

The jackboots are off and Nitzer Ebb have loosened up into a cool pumping rock mode. But do they long to strut afront a Marshall stack letting ...

Kelly Osbourne: Miss Dynamite

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Kerrang!, February 2003

Critics call her a spoilt brat. The tabloids think she's out of control. US radio claims she's not "for real". Kelly Osbourne couldn't care less… ...

Iggy Pop: Empire States: Iggy Pop: American Caesar (Virgin)

Review by Cathi Unsworth, Melody Maker, September 1993

WHERE THERE ARE the glowing embers of a fire to be stirred, you can trust Iggy Pop to be first with the gasoline. ...

The Red Hot Chili Peppers: Red Hot Chili Peppers: Lost In Spice

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Melody Maker, March 1992

CATHI UNSWORTH travelled to Liverpool to join the Peppers on their current UK tour and found out just how the band's mammoth jaunt around the ...

Ride: Riding The Crest Of A Wave

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, March 1991

After a year as top indie kids, RIDE have crossed into the mainstream and are now steaming into the Top 20 and selling-out all their gigs. ...

Ride: Graduating With Honours

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, December 1990

At the beginning of the year, RIDE were almost unheard of but a series of brilliant records and an old fashioned slog around the country has ...

Frank Sidebottom: Would You Marry This Man?

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, November 1988

Frank Sidebottom reckons he's the world's most eligible bachelor. Cathi Unsworth succumbs to his charms and checks out his prolific vinyl output. ...

Sisters of Mercy: The Sisters of Mercy: Leeds University

Live Review by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, February 1991

Mission accomplished ...

Soundgarden: Horticulture-Shock

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Melody Maker, June 1992

Soundgarden provide proof positive that you can be a successful metal band without being sexist and racist dickheads. Seattle's finest have already conquered the US ...

Spear Of Destiny: Kirk Brandon — Come On Down

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, October 1988

Kirk Brandon has spent the last year counting the cost of being confined to sick-bay. Cathi Unsworth hears how he's now recovered his health, revamped the Spear Of Destiny line-up and aims ...

Wolfsbane: Every Witch Way And Loose

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, September 1990

As predicted by a white witch, WOLFBANE's career has been shaped by a series of fantastic events. CATHI UNSWORTH listens to the unlikeliest of flower ...

List of genre pieces

Savage Pencil: With Lead In His Pencil

Interview by Cathi Unsworth, Sounds, September 1988

SAVAGE PENCIL has turned his art to original biker movies. CATHI UNSWORTH savours his hellraising Angel Dust ...

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