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Bristol Sounds: The Cat Empire

Australian rock band The Cat Empire took to The Amphitheatre last week for the second show of 'Bristol Sounds'.

By Joe Boyd, Digital Music Editor

Australian rock band The Cat Empire took to The Amphitheatre last week for the second show of 'Bristol Sounds'.

The Cat Empire brought their heavily Latin inspired sound to Lloyds Amphitheatre for the second night of Bristol Sounds, continuing their Bristol legacy by kicking off yet another European tour in the city. The Melbourne outfit brought a satisfying mixture of old and new songs, making a near perfect sound track to see out a cloudless sunny day. Led by Felix Riebl, the band blend elements of ska, Latin, jazz and reggae into their alternative rock to produce their signature sound. The presence of a heavily Latin inspired brass section makes The Cat Empire a band to be fully appreciated live. They share a history with the city of Bristol, having sold out Bristol O2 ten times more than any other artist, it is clear the city is a fan.‌

Image: Ania Shrimpton

The blisteringly sunny day at Lloyd’s Amphitheatre made for the perfect setting, and with Bristol gig legend Big Jeff in attendance it was set for a great evening. As the night went on and daylight faded over the harbourside lights began to be projected onto the surrounding building behind. The Cat Empire entered the stage to open with 'Ready Now', a track from their latest album. The setlist did not shy away from more new material with the band playing the title track from their 8th studio album Stolen Diamonds, released earlier this year. As well as my personal favourite, the energetic track 'Oscar Wilde', during which Felix continued to profess his love for the city, by asking “Bristol will you be my friend?”

Despite evidently wanting to showcase a lot of their new tunes, the gig still didn’t miss out on some fan favourites. 'Two Shoes' had the whole crowd dancing to the Latin-inspired brass section and singing along. As well as ending on two of the bands most successful songs 'All Night Loud' and 'Still Young' which unsurprisingly led to cheers for an encore.

Image: Ania Shrimpton

After returning to the stage for the much-deserved encore they played one final song from their new album called 'Kila', before ending on a fan favourite 'The Chariot' which Felix dedicated to Bristol. As the song came to a close, he began introducing everyone in the band, welcoming them to play a solo. After introducing himself last, he held up the microphone to the crowd and said, “and you are?” inducing one last roar from the crowd to conclude the gig.

While it is always a pleasure to see The Cat Empire, I will never be truly satisfied until I get to see 'The Car Song' live, maybe fifth times the charm?

Featured Image: Ania Shrimpton