The Cat Empire
Play Barcelona's Razzmatazz
Music journalist Zoe Thomson attended Cat Empire’s gig at Barcelona’s premier music venue Razzmatazz last Thursday November 22nd the first of two performances, the second happens on Sunday 25th November. The Australian band founded in 1999 have made fans around the world with their fusion of jazz, funk, ska and rock. This is Zoe’s review.
I first heard The Cat Empire on my year abroad in southern Germany. I was sitting in a little neighbourhood pub in early spring. I just about had had enough cold, when The Cat Empire came on the speakers – suddenly, I was spirited back to Barcelona, to her warm and lively summer nights.
The band’s upbeat, light-hearted sound makes them a big favourite everywhere they go, and it’s easy to see why: not only are all the members immensely talented, artfully combining various musical styles, but the music itself seems to be made with the sole purpose of putting a smile on your face. Many bands are capable of moving their loving and faithful audiences, but this goes beyond that: it is a contagiously joyful attitude that cannot escape even a first-time listener. Bras being thrown on stage, mosh pits and crowd-surfing are by no means exclusive to The Cat Empire, but the rapport between band and audience uncovers an element of reverence, as if the band were mythic heroes, and Felix, the God of Happiness.
It appears that Barcelona is blessed with the band’s special favour: not only do we get two encores at the end of the show and more songs than anywhere else, but we also get a second gig on Sunday. Frontman Felix Riebl addresses meaningful words to the crowd, suggesting that this is one of the band’s favourite places to play: “We come all the way from Australia, and when we come here we feel like we’re at home, because of you.” Well, The Cat Empire, the feeling is mutual. We’re much obliged.