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The Cat Empire Review (originally published on Guide2Bristol.com)

The Cat Empire, one of Australia’s finest musical exports, came, saw and conquered Bristol last Friday.

With a fantastic array of hits, improvisation and energy, The Cat Empire wowed a packed crowd at the O2 Arena, in central Bristol.

Trumpeter, Harry James Angus, stole the show with his trumpet solo improvisations and his vocal range, which have made The Cat Empire famous throughout the globe. The music spanned genres without missing a beat, and managed to keep the tempo high enough for the audience to remain buoyant the whole evening long.

Whilst the new album is very indie, live The Cat Empire managed to pull together the full range of influences that they have dabbled in, ranging from salsa to reggae. Angus managed to produce a trumpet solo to almost every song, but the balance was restored with a solo performance from every band member, the highlight being a double trumpet and trombone medley between Angus and Empire Horns, that made the crowd go wild.

Although some might say the band were being fairly indulgent, the crowd loved the variety of music on display. At times the crowd would sit back and enjoy the music, a sign of a band having immense fun, but when Riebl or Angus took the microphone the tempo would increase dramatically. Hands were in the air, and the music was vibrant, the energy at the venue was truly electric.

The light and sound was in perfect harmony, and it was plainly visible that the band were enjoying playing to the crowd. The arena was packed, and the mood was excited, and the encore, culminating in Chariot had even the shyest audience members bouncing to the eclectic beats.

All in all, a performance to remember.

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The Cat Empire (Original Article written for www.Guide2Bristol.com)

It is a time for music lovers in Bristol to get very excited. For The Cat Empire, Australia’s most successful musical export since Kylie Minogue, are playing The Bristol Academy on the 21st – 23rd October. Touring to promote their new album, Cinema, this is sure to be a must see on anyone’s musical calendar.

Founded through a love of jazz back in 1999, The Cat Empire are an alternative music group that move between genres effortlessly without breaking stride or losing the core of their style. Expect to hear music that fluctuates from jazz to salsa and full-circle to reggae, held together by the vocals of lead singer and percussionist Felix Riebl. Sometimes sounding like Jack Johnson, sometimes reminiscing of Maroon Five, Riebl’s voice is unique in it’s own right, holding the various styles and genres together, much like Fyfe Dangerfield for the Guillemots. This gives The Cat Empire a solid core of sound that allows the other musicians to craft their sound around him.

With the bands fifth album released back in August, the Cat Empire will be blowing audiences away with songs predominately from Cinema, which is no bad thing, although as always expect to hear the classics at some point. Cinema shows that The Cat Empire have finally found a voice of their own, no longer experimenting with different genres, but fitting them nicely together in to an album that is as clever as it is bold. The lyrics are beautifully crafted, and although sometimes relatively dark, the mix of jazz, salsa and rock hold the album together in to an ode to joy. Really The Cat Empire have stood up and shown they are a band to be reckoned with.

From the opening track, waiting, the album is a real pick-me-up, bursting with sunshine and summer, as one would expect from an Australian band. Although some might see The Cat Empire as a lounge band, they have made their name through live performances and will continue to do so for a long time to come if Cinema is any indication of things to come. The diversity of their music and variety of instruments will surprise and delight audiences, and Riebl’s voice is made for stage performances. Being a band stacked to the gills with talent, it is not inconceivable that they will free-style, ad-lib and elongate some of their most famous tunes on this tour. Their music really highlights a group of musicians that are having an enormous amount of fun and this comes out in the new album. It wouldn’t be too much trouble to predict that this enthusiasm will be flowing off stage as fast as the music.

Whether you like jazz or reggae, indie or rock, The Cat Empire are definitely worth a listen. With tickets only available now at The Bristol Academy on 21st of October fans will need to hurry in order to not be disappointed. Full listings can be found on the The Cat Empire website: http://www.thecatempire.com/tour-dates.