Live Review

Live Review: The Cat Empire – Brisbane 2019

Artist: The Cat Empire with Grace Barbé Music
Venue: Fortitude Music Hall
Date: September 19th 2019
Reviewer: Hayley Treadwell
Photographer: Jayde Lotus Photography

It was my first time walking into Brisbane newest live music venue, Fortitude Music Hall and I was instantly blown away. What an incredible venue which turned into the perfect setting for last nights Brisbane stop for The Cat Empire. Hailing from Melbourne, these guys have produced some of the highest quality fusion music Australia has to offer.

The crowd was packed in, on the floor and on the balcony for the opening act Grace Barbé Music, and as someone who frequents live music, it was refreshing to see so many people out to support the nights opener.

And the crowd was not disappointed. With her funky, soulful vibe Grace instantly owns the stage as she plucks her bass and belts out song after song. Accompanied by a stellar band, we were all swinging our hips and getting our groove on with Grace. The Perfect way to warm up for the band everyone was here to see.

As the band members of The Cat Empire take the stage, a roar of screams and claps fills the Music Hall. Felix grabs the microphone, with that ever cheeky smile on his face and the magic begins. ‘Anybody’ opens the set and we off on a non stop Jazz Rock Fusion Trip for the next two hours. With songs spanning their entire career, I am sure there was no fan left disappointed. It has been a long time since I have seen crowd participation on such a huge level.

“Two Shoes", ‘Fishies”, “Barricades” and “The Chariot” sent us into overdrive as we jumped around with the band. There were people of all ages and barely a sole able to keep still as we danced the night away with one of the most exciting live acts I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.

The Cat Empire, are something to behold Felix Riebl and Harry James Angus have extraordinary vocals, these multi talented singers quickly find another position on stage when the other takes the mic. Felix on percussion and Harry playing trumpet, there is always something new and exciting on stage.

Joining them is the sensational Ollie McGill on keyboards, Ryan Monro on Bass and Double Bass, Will Hull-Brown on Drums and topped off with the energetic DJ Jumps, you already have an extremely talented outfit. Add to this, The Empire Horns (this tour including Harry) and it is a non stop energy filled performance. The music just gets in your soul.

I have been a fan of The Cat Empire since 2003 but I have never had the opportunity to see them live, and I have to say for any fan of this incredible band, do not pass up seeing them live. It brings a new life to their already punchy music and I know I will go back and see them again and again.

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