The Cat Empire strikes Freo

The Cat Empire

Melbourne jazz/funk/ska/rock fusion band The Cat Empire rocked out at Metropolis Fremantle on October 26, and for all those who were there, it was a night to remember! The support act was Symbiosis, a five-piece Melbournian group whose reggae/gypsy sounds mixed with an odd sea-shanty here and there were the perfect band to get the crowd pumped for a typical raise-the-roof Cat Empire show.

As Fremantle is usually the city of choice for the Empire, they thought they would mix it up a little and play at the Metropolis Fremantle nightclub, which was met with a little bit of hesitation from myself, but ended up being a rip-roaring set that left me speechless.

After the energetic sounds of Symbiosis, we thought “The Cat Empire are going to have to do something really special to top that…”, and to no surprise to the crowd, they did. Pulling out songs like Panama, Fishies and No Longer There from the new album So Many Nights, as well as crowd favourites Hello, Sly, The Rhythm and The Chariot, and even a cover of Paul Kelly’s Dumb Things, they made sure that the crowd was always jumping, dancing, grooving and cheering to the larger-than-life sounds of the group.

As well as the regular songs, lead trumpeter Harry James Angus had the crowds’ jaws dropping as he unleashed his incredible scatting skills, doing effects with his voice that would leave anyone else’s voice ruined.

As usual, The Cat Empire delivered a set that will not be forgotten. As a self-professed veteran Cat Empire gig attendee (this one being my 5th), I have to say that it was the best set I have seen from the band.

If you only see one band a year, I vote The Cat Empire! Well done guys!

– John Geijsman

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