The Cat Empire @ Brixton Academy, London 23/10/2010

October 25, 2010 by  

Unorganised, chaotic, stressful. Not The Cat Empire – my life. My evening started off with a long wait in the cold with only the ticket touts for company. The ticket touts plus a litter of excitable Cat Empire fans. Once my gigging pals battled their way across town, we made a mad rush to arguably one of the best music venues in London: The Brixton Academy.

As we entered the hall we were greeted by a mass of energy from both the crowd and the band. I’m not talking vibes and auras man, I mean actual gob smacking energy. Even up in the nosebleed seats I couldn’t spot one person who wasn’t captured by the boogie. From the balcony overlooking a sea of dancers it was hard keep myself from focusing purely on the crowd for the entire set. Hard, but not impossible.

The band were feeding and thriving from this energy and seemed visibly moved by the reaction they were getting. It’s almost impossible to say who was enjoying it more – the crowd or the band. Front men Harry James Angus and Felix Riebl did an amazing job keeping the crowd involved, but the reaction from the fans was really held by every single member of the band as they each had their moment in the spotlight. The biggest reaction coming from Angus’ outburst of scat which got progressively louder, faster and captivating as time went on.

These guys are a happy-go-lucky band playing happy-go-lucky music, but the precision with which they play has clearly been meticulously rehearsed, down to the adorable dance moves from the brass boys.

For the encore they brought out that old classic ‘The Wine Song’ which swiftly morphed into Dick Dale & The Del Tones’ ‘Misirlou’ (think Pulp Fiction) and then back into ‘The Wine Song’. The pace was then slowed right down with ‘Reasonably Fine’ – a gorgeous example of the band’s mature sound that can be found on their new album ‘Cinema’. For their finale Riebl dedicated a song to the audience which was, of course, ‘The Chariot’. A song with a sentiment as close to perfection as might actually be possible, promoting love, peace and happiness – what a high to end on.


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