Thursday 16th October 2008
cats and cats and cats
“A cooly calculated confusion of colours”
To quote T. S. Eliot
“ You’ve read of several kinds of Cat,
And my opinion now is that
You should need no interpreter
to understand their character”
When I was just a mere kiddie-wink back in the glorious Seventies my Mum used to enjoy a box of ‘Weekend’ at the weekend… Do you remember ‘Weekend’? These weren’t just a box of chocolates, in fact they weren’t even a box of chocolates! ‘Weekend’ were a box of ‘stuff’. Some of the stuff looked good enough to eat – it was green, orange, yellow, red. Some of it was covered in marzipan, jelly, fruit jam, white icing, licorice or mallow. A few of the ‘assortments’ within were actually ‘chocs’ but even these had strange fruity centres like ‘apricot jam’ or ‘peppermint slime’ and so were not chocolates at all in any conventional sense. I used to enjoy watching my Mum opening the box of ‘Weekend’ because I knew that she almost always used to leave the ones with marzipan ( she told me that these tasted like Pernod) or the ones with bits of grit in the middle or the ones with a slice of lemon jelly slashed across their head. So I ended up tasting these strange little treats.
Cats and cats and cats remind me of a box of ‘Weekend’ chocolates. If, indeed, it is true that ‘Life is a like a box of Chocolates’ then this is one crazy mixed up assortment of a life and you might find that some tastes are a bit sour and a bit strange. But stick with them and you will be delighted.
When I first saw avant-garde band Talking Heads back in the ‘Speaking in Tongues’ 1980’s days I didn’t know I liked what I heard but I knew it was important. I got the sense of the gravitas and I saw the emotion in others who watched. I get that same feeling with Cats and cats and cats. C&C&C use some novel sonic textures like Talking Heads and they also employ some intellectual structures that may not be entirely to your taste. In this respect they are most like Canadian Indie-Rockers ‘Arcade Fire’. But their very post-punk Cure-esque song ‘You’ll never Make It Home’ almost sounds like a Robert Smith song albeit a modern jazzlike (almost folk driven) version of the sound.
Cats and cats and cats are less pretentious art rock (Mew) and more dream-pop (like Cocteau Twins) and they can create some deftly beautiful if not sonically challenging soundscapes between them. This has lots to do with Adam Leverett and Eve Morrison (would you adam and eve it?) on keyboards/violin. The water-colour washes that they perform on behalf of the other buoyant members of the band is at times starkly minimalistic, but mostly, it conjures up a host of vibrant colours and textures from deep inside their magic hat.
‘Fight Fight with Fight’ has the sing-a-longa chorus and some sublime stringsong but it is also intentionally discordant. With its Da-da-da-da-da bars and fight between twin thin melodies this song explores both the horizontal and the vertical aspects of rock and is as anthemic as anything by ‘The Zombies’. It hides precious gemstones in dirty corners like any song by the Sixties hippy band ‘Love’.
…’Fight Fight with Fight’ Oi!
[ Screech George ]
I admired their sense of baroque when I saw the band at The Hobgoblin, Staines. The daring harmonic experiments are characterised by the exceptional technical knowledge of these musical oddballs. Samuel “Screech” Powers lookalike vocalist Ben George is the curious talent behind this box of delights. He is undeniably pompous and yet somehow he seems fresh enough to be a newborn lamb. His talent seems to know no bounds and he has the energy of a coiled high-tension spring on a strong dose of dextrose monohydrate.
So if you want to join the modernist party that is a hair-brained, slightly loopy and cooly calculated confusion of colours and sounds… please please please join Cats and cats and cats on their crusade to take their zany, cool and hot-tin-roof music into new dimensions. Catalytic, cataclysmic and cathartic pop.
So this is this, and that is that:
And there’s how you AD-DRESS A CAT