Formed in 1964 and hailing from Hackbridge, a suburb in the London Borough of Sutton, this four-piece played the 100 Club in Oxford Street in June 1966 and were spotted by Tokenam Aw (whose family owned the famous Tiger Balm heat rub).
Aw had connections with the Fontana label and took the band to Olympic Studios to record a track he’d written called Major Catastrophe. Released as a single, this powerful percussive freakbeat tune did not chart.
Tours supporting the Small Faces and the Alan Price Set followed, and in December 1966 Katch 22 also filmed a Colgate toothpaste advertisement for television.
In June 1967, bass player Robert Godbold left the group and was replaced by Paul Clifton.
Their next single release, Makin’ My Mind Up, did not chart, and neither did the follow-up, The World’s Getting Smaller.
Fontana refused to record an album with the group (due to the dearth of hits) so Katch 22 recorded and released their LP – It’s Soft Rock & All Sorts, It’s Katch 22 – with Saga at Regent Sound.
The LP sold 75,000 copies but since it was sold only via W.H.Smith newspaper stands and at Woolworth’s, it was ineligible for listing on the album chart.
The band then appeared in the film Baby Love (1968) starring Diana Dors and Dick Emery. Tokenam Aw composed the songs Baby Love and Out of My Life that the band performed in the movie.
Meanwhile, Pumpkin Mini was issued as a single and Katch 22 began a one-month residency at the Star Club in Hamburg.
Paul Clifton and Martin Wayne then quit the group with Clifton being replaced by John Curtis and Keith Wilford replacing Wayne. Curtis lasted just nine months before Bryan Jackson was brought in on bass.
Jackson left the group in December 1970 and Mike Eastman moved to bass guitar. Meanwhile, manager Tokenam Aw returned to Hawaii to work in the family business.
Katch 22 continued to tour the UK university circuit and RAF and Naval bases as a trio, before finally calling it a day in February 1972.
Martin Wayne (Godbold)