With a unique fusion of jazz and ska mixed in with elements of alternative rock, The Cat Empire have made themselves one of Australia’s biggest exports. The Melbourne based six-piece are a global favourite with a string of sold out shows, massive festival slots and a very passionate fanbase from down under to Europe and America. Whilst the band are preparing the release of their eighth studio album for next year, they’ve decided to hit the road for a massive world-wide run of intimate shows. With the band reaching the home leg of the tour they successfully sold out four shows in Brisbane alone at The Triffid which proved that even with no new album they still have a massive impact on the touring market.
“Good evening Brisbane! Welcome to our last show at The Triffid, we’re going to make it a good one” lead singer Felix Riebl exclaimed to the excited crowd, and that they did. Kicking off the show with the new track ‘Ready Now’ they had the crowd easily dancing along before they delivered old favourites ‘Sly’ and ‘Wolves’ which instantly had everyone singing along. The hour and a half show heard them taking a trip down memory lane whilst also experimenting with new tracks like ‘Stolen Diamonds’ and ‘Anybody’ that were received really well. The lyrics of ‘How To Explain’ still resonate so strongly, with the crowd screaming ‘music is the language of us all’ during the hook whilst favourites like ‘Call Me Home’, ‘Like A Drum’ and ‘Daggers Drawn’ were obvious crowd pleasers that made you feel like you were apart of a Zumba flash mob.
Their songs have always been a little long in the duration department and their live renditions don’t hold back at all with extra long instrumental solos that at times can become a little redundant. But every band member had their moment to shine with a unique solo which truly does capture how individually talented this band are. Also with the Jazz and Ska genres you have to expect long instrumentals as they are so pivotal to the ambient aesthetic. Over the course of the last couple of months the band have announced that they will be releasing a new song every month to thank their fans for waiting so patiently. They premiered October’s track ‘Killer’ which is a funky ska inspired moment that was a clear standout in their live set. They continued the high energy with ‘La Sirene’, ‘Fishies’, ‘Steal The Light’ and ‘Brighter Than Gold’ as the band crept closer towards the end of the set. Riebl was engaging to watch as he drifted across the stage and graciously stood back to let other members take the spotlight and showcase their enormous talent. ‘Bulls’, ‘All Night Loud’ and ‘Still Young’ had the crowd euphorically singing in unison and chanting for more after the band said good night. But of course they returned one final time for The Chariot’ before bowing out.
While the majority of the crowd were singing and dancing along all night, there was a strong force of people talking throughout the whole show at the back of the venue. This is an overwhelming culture at 18+ shows that is becoming a little frustrating. It is a lack or respect for the artists performing as well as for the fellow people around you who have paid money to witness the show. Next time before you decide to have a chat with your friends during a gig maybe you should stop and just take a second to live in the moment and vibe to the music? Because I can certainly confirm that no one around you wants to hear about how you are unsure if you like the guy you’ve been seeing or hear about your work complaints. If you really aren’t vibing the show or want to have a conversation, go outside. Or wait till after show? Or come early and have a drink before the show! But there are a couple of times you shouldn’t have the conversation and that is 1. during the main act and 2. during the support act. Yes, whilst you may not always know the support act, they are still an artist that deserves your respect whilst they are performing. And if you don’t vibe the music they are delivering then go to the bar or go outside for a bit to have your conversations instead of being blatantly disrespectful. Because It’s a simple respect thing not only for the artists but for also the people around you. And it’s a slight reminder to live in the moment more because live music is truly a great release from the stress and confusions of life, so live in it.
Check out the full gallery captured by The Raveyard Photography HERE;
Photos by Hannah Dodd