BEING in a turbulent relationship is never much fun but, if you happen to be a singer/songwriter, then at least your troubles could have an upside . . . you often get some great material out of it.
Take Catherine Feeny, for instance. She penned a song called Mr Blue about her then-boyfriend . . . and her future began to change dramatically, almost overnight.
First of all, the track appeared threaded through a Gwyneth Paltrow film called Running With Scissors, and then made it onto an episode of hit TV show The OC, which helped to propel it to the top spot in the US iTunes chart.
Mr Blue’s parent album, Hurricane Glass, was originally released on Tallgrass, an independent label.
However, following the success of the single, she was signed by EMI, who gave it a repackage and remix and pushed it to the top of their priority list.
I talked to Catherine recently and asked her if her sudden success was anything like she dreamed it might be.
She told me: “What is success to one person isn’t necessarily success to another. You always think it’s kind of a place you’ll get to but, in the journey of life, you never really get there . . . you just keep walking.
“You have good times and you have bad times, but there’s not a place called ‘Success’ that has a gate and you’re in there forever. Actually, maybe I just have to get to that point. Maybe there is a ‘Success’ park with pools and sunshine, who knows?”
A recent signifier of her new-found success was an appearance at this year’s rain-lashed Glastonbury Festival.
Many acts tend to bus in and then bus right out again immediately after their set, but Catherine whole-heartedly embraced the festival spirit.
She said: “I had a great time . . . I went and camped for the whole weekend. The weather was completely mad but it was great to be among so many people who were just there to hear music and have a good time.”
Having read the book Running With Scissors, I was curious to hear how it had translated to the big screen . . . although Augusten Burroughs’s semi-autobiographical book is undoubtedly hilarious in places, it’s rather hard to imagine tales of child abuse and ludicrously dysfunctional families wowing audiences in America’s conservative mid-West.
Catherine said: “I read Running With Scissors a few months back, long after the movie had happened. I really loved the book, it was fantastic. I think the film tried to be pretty faithful to the book, but they had to combine some things and simplify other things. Ultimately, I don’t think the film has been as successful as the book, but it had some great actors in it.”
Catherine Feeny plays the Sage, Gateshead, on September 10, tickets £10. Call 0191-443 4661 to book.