UK exclusive Boomtown headliners release a spectacular album that epitomizes The Cat Empire’s position as ska and jazz ruling monarchs in one fell swoop.

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Toning down the party for a moment.

The Cat Empire have just uploaded their new release. Their discography is a perfect representation of what six musicians with an adoration for stomping festival party music can forge with their collective musical vision. Each album takes the previous and re-sculpts it into something so different and yet so obviously… them – duel vocalists Felix and Harry help to cement that with a combination of upbeat, soulful and energetic vocals which drives each jiving dance anthem and every crooning heartfelt lament forward with an incredible celebration towards life. They may not like this description but to be truthful, they are the ultimate BBQ band, and one which I will always turn to when feeling low. The Cat Empire kicks ass, and Steal the Light is the steel toe-capped boot.

The 2013 opus is crammed with blinding tunes. I have mentioned previously that it’s rare that I enjoy every single song on an album, but Steal the Light just refuses to relent with its delivery of quality aural pleasure. Brighter than Gold, Steal the Light and Am I Wrong all uplift the soul even in the rainiest days (and we are getting quite of that down in Cornwall right now!) They resonate tribal beats, excessively memorable choruses and brass riffs putting an extra swing in your step if you’re walking outside with your earphones in – one cannot help but bop along with a grin. Wild Animals is a gorgeous African-vibe anthem that tackles our capitalistic rat-race habits with a call to not “let them kill the wild animals inside of you!”. It holds an uplifting and inspiring message that every one of us will be affected by. The rest of the album continues in the same fashion, slaying the live vibe with a succession of tunes getting you to your feet and your hips itchy for summer.

the cat empire

Australia – ska weather.

One of the things I love about this band is their dexterity. They have dabbled in enough sub genres that they seem to have written a song for pretty much any occasion. Not only displaying their incredible spectrum of talent as musicians and songwriters, they bring together a fusion of jazz, ska, funk and rock with heavy Latin influences. They have a distinct Balkan/Romani/Gypsy feel at times too, almost with a Gogol Bordello kind of groove.

I just had to pick The Cat Empire for an article when I heard that they are going to be headlining Boomtown 2014, it is the one festival I am determined never to miss. I already have my ticket and I have to admit right now, even if I didn’t know a single other band on their bill, I would buy a ticket just for The Cat Empire anyway. I missed a gig of theirs in London about a year ago, I was bloody gutted, but after seeing that these guys are coming to Winchester? Get me there. Now. Belters like The Wine Song, So Many Nights and Protons, Neutrons, Electrons are simply gonna tear the place down, I haven’t been this excited for a gig in a long time.

9/10 – Bring on the Trumpets.

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