- Cathy Stadler (vocals)
- Tim Frost (drums)
- Jenny Chadwick (bass)
- Jonathan Stadler (lead guitar, backing vocals)
- Nathan Waywell (bass)
- Paul McIver (keyboards, guitar)
- Garth McLeod (drums)
The Mail & Guardian named Fortune Cookies' vocalist Cathy Stadler as one of the 'Movers and Shakers' of the Rainbow Nation. That wasn't a reference to her musical abilities (then), it was more for her IT and marketing successes, but Cathy took the award literally and set out to make a big impression with her debut album.
Fortunately 'Ordinary Day' is not a flashy dance-pop album of the "moving and shaking" variety. These ten songs pack a range of introspective lyrics and irresistible pop symphonies into less then 40 minutes. All the songs on 'Ordinary Day' were written by Cathy Stadler, with the exception of first single 'Nightingale', and were given the Brian O'Shea magic production touch at the Farm Studios in Midrand during 2001.
'Nightingale', which slots neatly among the other original pop gems on display here, was released earlier this year and immediately grabbed keen attention and radio play. It was followed on to the airwaves by the equally addictive 'I Can't Get Enough Of You', a highlight of the album with Stadler's voice lifting the song from the vulnerability of the verse to the brave, soaring chorus.
The band's current line-up - Tim Frost (drums), Jenny Chadwick (bass), and Cathy's brother Jonathan on lead guitar and backing vocals - evolved during the recording of 'Ordinary Day'. They all contributed to these arrangements alongside other guest luminaries like Nathan Waywell (Starskii) on bass, Paul McIver (Watershed) on keyboards and guitar, and Garth McLeod (Sugardrive) on drums.
The album opens in a sombre mood with 'What's The Reason' and 'Make Me Your Religion', before the zesty 'Ordinary Day' skips into sight, with a happy-sunny-in-the-city feel and sound similar to acts like UK group Saint Etienne, early Edie Brickell, and SA's The Sunshines. There's also 'Wait A Little Baby', 'Closer (Than I Hold My Breath)', and 'Fallen Angel', a poignant vocal and piano ballad. Then, in a manner befitting the band's name, the album closes with the sweet taste and sage advice of 'Take Your Time'.
All round, 'Ordinary Day' is a short, intelligent, and delicious pop album that promises much for these Fortune Cookies' future.