FUN: Australian band, The Cat Empire. Photo contributed.
FUN: Australian band, The Cat Empire. Photo contributed. Contributed

Cat Empire goes prowling down memory lane

THE Cat Empire wants to take you down memory lane this summer during a tour with Xavier Rudd.

Next month the pairing will headline an outdoor summer concert series taking in the regional areas of Bribie Island and Byron Bay as well as Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria.

The Cat Empire's trumpet player Harry James Angus said that aside from playing many of the same music festivals, the two Aussie acts had followed similar trajectories over the past decade.

"Our careers have taken fairly similar paths in that we both started getting played on triple j and community radio at about the same time," he told ARM.

"Even though our music is pretty different in a lot of ways, we're also from the same era. This tour is a bit of recognition that we've been around long enough now for there to be a bit of a nostalgia value for people to come see us playing together.

"For everyone listening to triple j in 2004, this is like you guys are a bit older now - time to take a trip down memory lane."

They are supported by three up-and-coming acts receiving love on youth and community radio: Harts, Ocean Avenue and the Sunshine Coast's Sahara Beck.

"I think it will be fun with the other bands on the line-up, who are not our vintage, so to speak," Angus said.

"Harts is much cooler than us, really, and we've done a fair bit of touring with Sahara Beck over the past 12 months.

"She's definitely someone who's on the rise. She's a great performer."

The Cat Empire has a strong following in Europe, where they toured extensively late last year.

The eight-piece is known for its often relentless touring schedule and for its energetic live shows that vary greatly, depending on the moods of its members.

"I think we are at an advantage over a lot of bands because we still have an improvised element to our music," Angus said.

"There's a fair bit of chaos and soloing in the jazz tradition that goes on, which keeps things pretty interesting. You can't go on autopilot the way I think a lot of bands probably do.

"I always think about Coldplay for some reason, which probably isn't fair, and how they're in the stadium playing and in the back of their mind they're thinking: 'Did I remember to turn the oven off?'."

Angus believes that on-stage chaos is what keeps the band on its toes, and hungry for more.

After their summer concert tour, the band is likely to take a break before recording another album.

The Cat Empire's seventh studio album and second fully independent album Rising With The Sun, released earlier this year, debuted at No.1 on the ARIA Albums chart.

"We're considering maybe taking a break for some family time and then when the time's right, we'll go back into the studio," Angus said.

"We never have a deadline for albums. Also with so many people in the band, we need to make sure everyone is ready to go another lap.

"With eight people, it's so annoying even to try going out for dinner."

  • The Cat Empire and Xavier Rudd Tour play Red Devil Park in Byron Ban on February 4. For more information and tickets, go to Premium General Admission: $159.90 plus booking fees. General Admission: $99.90 plus booking fees. Kids under 17: $69.50 plus booking fees.

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