REVIEW: The Cat Empire

Their weapons were their instruments, and with their loud brass section, they brought a little slice of Latin America to Portsmouth.

Sunday, 3rd April 2016, 11:47 am
Updated Sunday, 3rd April 2016, 11:51 am
The Cat Empire at The Pyramids, Southsea. Picture by James Pardon

Promoting their sixth (yes really, I can’t believe it either) album, The Cat Empire’s blend of ska/salsa/jazz was warmly welcomed by the expectant crowd at the Pyramids.

It’s not often you get to go to a gig where dancing is the norm. And The Cat Empire’s infectious sound sent a ripple of rhythm across the crowd within the first two songs.

By the time they played well-known hits such as Two Shoes and Still Young, the whole crowd was moving. Their infectious party sound had worked its usual magic.

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By the time they played The Chariot, the place was jumping.

The set was mixed with a few slower ballad-type numbers, and each musician on stage got a chance to shine with solo sections.

If anything, the older songs, where there was more ska than salsa, went down better. But they’re tight, they can work a crowd, and they are the perfect band for April - heralding spring, optimism, warm weather and a beer in the sun. There may not be any cats, but they deserve their own little empire.