Charley Farley (Photo Credits: Morag Farley Photography)
On a wet windy night in Cardiff there was a great buzz of anticipation for the night ahead as we waited for the doors to open.
Cats in Space landed at The Globe for what turned out to be the opening night of their UK headline tour - the first show had to be cancelled due to illness, but London’s loss was Cardiff’s gain.
First up at a slowly filling room was Aussie Rockers, KAATO who returned to Cardiff for the second time in a year. On a stage not designed for the number of bands and drum kits, they fire up and the crowd warms to them slowly, Kurt Lowney (Vocals), appeared to struggle with the lack of space but still managed to perform with a swagger that could easily grace the larger stages of next year’s festival season. The band describe themselves as “…a mixture of Aerosmith, Boston, Styx and Zeppelin, and all the stuff that just makes you want to get up and dance.” The shortened 6 track set lived up to that description- entertaining the crowd that had braved the weather to get out early seemed to enjoy.
Kurt Lowney (Vocals)
Mika Nuutinen (Bass)
Hunter Lovan (Guitar)
Jack Edwards (Guitar)
Mitch Pike (Drums)
Next up were tonight's special guests, Hand of Dimes, a local band with a huge following who took to the stage and acknowledged the almost full crowd, Neville MacDonald (vocals) announced, to the delight of the crowd “We’ve haven't got much time so we’re just going to play” and they just ploughed straight into “Guilty” and the crowd loved it from the off. Playing 6 tracks from their album “Raise”. Hand of Dimes were just sublime, clearly enjoying every moment on the stage. From Nev’s soulful delivery of “Jacob’s Ladder” to getting their groove on for “Pinstriped Arrogance” the variation of styles within the set just goes to show how good these guys are. The crowd made their disappointment clear when the band announced their last song and when that was over they chanted for more, a simply magnificent set.
Hand of Dimes Are
Neville MacDonald (Vocals/Guitar)
Neil Garland (Keyboards/Harmonica)
Colin Edwards (Lead Guitar)
Mark Maybry (Bass)
David Stephenson (Drums)
The crowd were warmed up now for Cats in Space, who entered the stage to their signature “Sweeny” theme music instantly transporting you back to the ‘70s. Starting off with “Too many Gods” from the opening bars Paul Manzi (Vocals) had the crowd in the palm of his hand. “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” was the first of the new album tracks to be played and band and crowd both appeared to love it. Moving on through their set some of the new material was having its debut, if the Cats were apprehensive about performing it there was no signs of it. Paul’s vocal performance was amazing and he kept the crowd engaged for the whole show. Greg & Dean sharing the duties of lead and rhythm and switching those duties faultlessly during each track. Jeff & Steevi driving the tracks forward with metronomic timing and Andy’s keyboards taking each track to another level. If you think the albums are good, then live the tracks are phenomenal with so much energy and it’s clear to see that the Cats love playing to an audience. The set list contained a great mix of tracks from their debut Album “Too Many Gods’ and the brand new album “Scarecrow” and had the near capacity crowd singing and dancing throughout. As the last song was sung the Cats took their applause thanking the crowd and staying about to happily have photos and sign CD’s and tour posters. Having a chat with the Cats after the show they said how much they enjoyed playing and they are extremely happy with the response that “Scarecrow” has received. They talked about how much they were looking forward to the tour, and how they’d had difficulty in deciding which of the new tracks would work best live. If you get the chance to see them - grab it with both hands. You will not be disappointed.
Overall this was just an amazing night of live music, three great bands playing awesome music. Speaking to a number of the crowd leaving The Globe with smiles from ear to ear they could do it all again. It was one Purr-fect evening
Cats in Space Are
Paul Manzi (Vocals)
Greg Hart (Guitar/Vocals)
Jeff Brown (Bass/Vocals)
Dean Howard (Guitar)
Andy Stewart (Keyboards/Vocals)
Steevi Bacon (Drums)
Too Many Gods
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
Last Man Standing
How Does It Feel
Greatest Story Never Told
Five Minute Celebrity
************PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF MORAG FARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY / DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA***********