The Cat Empire | The Student Pocket Guide
by Alex Paton
The Cat Empire are an individual band who defy genre. Their intoxicating blend of ska, blues and jazz on previous albums, ‘Cinema’and self-titled ‘The Cat Empire’ has already proven their musical prowess and their new release is no exception…
‘Steal The light’ seamlessly layers benevolent vocals over gypsy-influenced brass hooks and carnivalesque beats reminiscent of Rio. There is much more of a worldly influence on this album compared to on previous records. For instance, the song ‘Like A Drum’ is drenched with samba rhythms and Spanish vocals which immediately conjure up images of Cuba. Likewise the uplifting organs and gospel choir on the track ‘Wild Animals’ would be just as suited in an American blues bar as it would in a circus tent at Glastonbury. The LP is full of skanking festival anthems to warm the soul and is a perfect soundtrack for hot Summer days.
‘The Cat Empire’ are currently travelling around Europe on a tour promoting their new album and the eagerly anticipated Norwich gig took place at ‘The Waterfront’ club on Monday the 28th October. Many fans of the band had tickets stuck to their fridge for over half a year, so it is no surprise this was a sold out event.
The first half of the band’s set saw them stomp through songs from their new album. The jazz infused ‘Prophets In The Sky’ was a particular crowd favourite with the majority of the audience singing along to its memorable vocals. The second half of the night saw the group take a retrospective look on old songs, adding new elements with live improvisation. During ‘Days Like These’ different members of the group performed solo parts – DJ Jumps scratched up a frenzy on the turntables, Will Hull-Brown rolled out complex drum patterns and lead singer Harry Angus showed of his vocal range by hitting some astonishingly high pitches. The individual parts eventually blended into each other, creating an elevating crescendo which was met with the crowd’s raucous applause. Further highlights included the song ‘Red Wine’ which saw the band break into an unexpected rendition of ‘UB40’s’ song of the same name.
There is only really one term to describe this phenomenal gig – unmissable!
For more info and live dates, visit: thecatempire.com