Preview gigs for unreleased albums can be a hit-and-miss affair, especially when coupled with the grand tradition of the corporate-sponsored, press junket format, which has proven in the past to be equally as hit and miss.
The Cat Empire,
The Night Cat (Fitzroy), June 7, 2010
The Cat Empire returned home, apparently to the scene of their first gig, and also the spot I saw my first Cat Empire show during my university days – the Night Cat in Fitzroy. I was grateful that the band were making little of the corporate sponsorship of the gig by DMG Radio, with little more than a brief introduction from a trio of breakfast personalities – who had moments earlier been shocked when I didn’t know who they were – to give away the secret. When the trio appeared on stage, I was a little surprised when they announced that the Cat Empire were about to come onto stage. It was just past eight o’clock. I’d expected to catch at least a little of LABJACT. Oh, well. We will always have the Namatjira World Music Festival…
The band opened with a couple of songs from their forthcoming Cinema album, which weren’t bad, but really were not what the audience, or I, wanted to hear. A song about cannibalism appealed to me. But it was when songs like Fishies, The Chariot and Two Shoes – and even b-sides like How To Explain? – came on that people really got moving.
Music is the language of us all…
At the end of each song, I kept hoping that the piano line that introduces The Wine Song, which I have always wanted to hear live, but a surprise, solo-laden, extended rendition of The Darkness to close the encore more than sufficed. In fact, it was the playful solos which were strewn liberally throughout this show which made it such a good set. As usual, the band seemed to be enjoying themselves, and Felix in particular looked to be reveling in the opportunity to discuss the background behind each of the new songs as they were debuted.