The Logues frontman Kiel Cathers: I'd rather be like fine wine than old milk

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: Kiel Cathers from Castlederg, lead singer with Co Tyrone folk-rock band The Logues

Kiel Cathers, centre, with The Logues – I’ve never been on a diet because I’ve been blessed with a cyborg-like metabolism, so my weight doesn’t fluctuate
Gail Bell

1 Up and at it – what is your morning routine?

I’ll wake up, check emails and WhatsApp, then head out and feed Smudge (Shetland pony), Dougal (the cat) and, if my housemate/bandmate Loguey is at work, Jack (his rabbit).

2 What might you eat in a typical working day for...

Breakfast? If I ever get tired of eggs and bacon, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. I also sometimes will have oats.

Lunch? Normally, I'll heat up something that I’ve prepared earlier in the week which might be a pasta, stew, stir-fry or something similar.

Evening meal? If it’s a working day, the evening meal is at the mercy of the venue we’re playing at that night, which can throw up some interesting surprises... The highlight/lowlight was probably pickled herring one night when we were in Holland.

3 Is nutrition important to you?

It’s not. I’m not someone who will read food labels or check calories; it’s just not something that crosses my mind. Saying that, I am making a conscious effort to eat less meat these days and eat more fruit and veg.

4 Best meal ever?

I was once mugged within a few hours of arriving in New Orleans, leaving me with only a few dollars to my name. As I walked back to the hotel, I came across a petrol station that sold $1.25 pieces of fried chicken and it was genuinely the greatest thing I have ever tasted, as well as being a lesson in perspective. My 'death row' meal would definitely be some kind of Southern, soul-food type dish.

5 Do you have a guilty pleasure?

I eat entire bags of Tangfastics, so I’d have to say sour sweets of any kind.

6 Have you ever been on a diet?

I’ve never been on a diet because I’ve been blessed with the cyborg-like metabolism of my parents, so my weight doesn’t really fluctuate.

7 Do you take health supplements?

I occasionally get quite bad eczema, so I’ve been known to try random supplements on recommendations of friends or something I've seen online. At the moment, I’m taking zinc and vitamin C. I also take a CBD tincture daily. Whether they work or not is hard to say.

8 How do you relax?

I listen to music to relax and I also enjoy listening to podcasts while I’m doing chores. Aside from that, I’m a big fan of playing snooker (badly) with my friends.

9 Teetotal or tipple?

I’d certainly be fond of a drink, but as much as I used to. I do love a good pint of stout.

10 Stairs or lift?

I live in Castlederg and we are a humble people who have no time for such decadent luxuries as lifts. You’d want to be going to Derry for the closest lift to here, I’d say.

11 Do you have a daily exercise regime?

If only I had the internal discipline required to exercise every day... I go to the gym once a week and play five-a-side with the lads weekly, as well.

12 Best tip for everyday fitness?

I could not, in good conscience, offer anyone fitness advice, but I’d encourage everyone, particularly men, to approach and understand their mental health in the same way that they would their physical. I would argue that mental health is more important.

13 On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are and how fit would you like to be?

I’ll be kind to myself and give myself a solid seven.

14 Have you tried, or would you try, alternative therapy?

I haven’t – I’d be rather sceptical of the claims of alternative medicine, as there doesn’t seem to be much empirical evidence for things like homeopathy, but, if it works for you, more power to you. Each their own.

15 Were school sports happy times or do you have a memory you would rather forget?

I think school sports were a mixed bag – it was there I had to reconcile the fact that I probably wasn’t good enough at football to play for Liverpool. That said, I was very good at jumping for some reason. I have medals in all the jump events; triple, high, and show.

16 Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?

Is it possible to have more than one epiphany? I had a number of epiphanies a few years ago in the form of increasingly crushing hangovers which led me to cut down my drinking by a good amount, as my mental health was suffering. I’m also pleased to have quit smoking cigarettes a few years ago.

17 Best health/lifestyle advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?

Just because Clint Eastwood looked really cool smoking that stogie in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, is not a reason to take up smoking, kids.

18 Who inspires you or who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness / attitude to life?

I’d have to say Bruce Springsteen – he’s a testament to what a healthy body and mind are capable of and his voice is better than it ever was – he’s still performing four-hour concerts at the age of 69.

19 What time do you normally get to bed and do you get enough sleep?

At weekends or whenever we’re out gigging, it will usually be 4am before I get to bed and it will then take another hour or two to switch off and fall asleep, so I probably don’t get enough sleep, but I’m not complaining. In fact, if I ever do complain about my schedule, the people close to me are instructed to boot me up the backside because I’m in a position of privilege and you can sleep when you’re dead.

20 Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?

I have no death anxiety as such, but I do have anxiety about ageing badly – I’d rather be like fine wine than old milk.

:: The Logues will be playing a homecoming gig at The Townhouse, Castlederg, on October 4 and Sandinos, Derry, on October 11. Tickets available direct from venues.

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