This obituary probably won’t mean much to many of our readers outside the UK, and I daresay it probably won’t mean much to any of our readers in the UK who are younger than their late 20s, but word reached Thrash Hits last night that Anet Mook, former frontwoman of London-based alt-rock outfit Cay, died last week in her native country of the Netherlands.
Watch Cay perform live at the Exeter Cavern back in 1999:
Cay were one of a clutch of British rock bands that burned fast and burned brightly around the turn of the millenium. Alongside the perennially lazy My Vitriol, they were often billed as a Next Big Thing. You only have to look at the success of (or rather, the lack of) of the rest of their contemporaries – Ruby Cruiser, co_dot, The Yo-Yos, Nojahoda, Rico, and the like – to see that this was a period where British rock music clearly wasn’t quite sure where it was going, but it was going to make a bloody great big racket while it found out.
Cay burned hard but they burned fast – by around the Summer of 2000 they were a spent force, and after being dropped by their record label, they disappeared from public view. Since then, rumours had circulated around the darker corners of the internet rumour mill regarding the fate of a band that had, just before the turn of the millenium, been touted as one of the great hopes of UK alt-rock. Talk of hard drug addictions, and all manner of splits and fights within the band were whispered about. Obviously, it being the internet and all, bullshit-detectors needed to be set to maximum, and for the most part we filed these rumours under “Unsubstantiated Internet Shit-talking”. However, in light of some of the information that’s come to light following Anet’s death, it seems many of these rumours may have turned out to be true.
Anet’s former bandmate, Mark Bullock, has written arguably one of the most honest and revealing obituaries to his former singer on his blog, Sink of Swirling Stars. The band’s former webmaster and lighting rigger, Paul O’Connell, has written an equally insightful piece on his experiences with the troubled singer on his blog, Now Is Not The Time For Hysteria. I’d urge you to go read both of their pieces immediately – they capture the rise and fall of Cay’s talents with far greater knowledge and perception than any outsider could ever hope to.
Mark Bullock has recently posted an entire live bootleg of the band’s set at The Red Eye in 1998. It certainly captures the spirit of a band that quickly burst into the UK rock community’s collective consciousness, which led to them winning consecutive slots at Reading & Leds Festivals in 1999 and 2000, as well as picking up a Kerrang! Award for Best New British Band back in 1999. Obviously the speed of Cay’s rise was a contributing factor in their equally-fast decline, eventually leading to the band joining the sadly ever-growing ranks of acts that’ve been torn apart from the inside by heroin addiction.
R.I.P. Anet Mook. You might have been forgotten by some, but not by all.