Gig Review

Cat Empire
Paprika Balkanikus
Birmingham, Academy
6th July 2009
Cat Empire             Paprika Balkanikus
Photo Of Cat Empire © Copyright Robert LawrenceAnother late start at the academy tonight, but seeing as there is only two bands that's ok. The Academy is in the stage of being stripped out right now, due to the venue change happening, so its looking a bit odd tonight.

First up and hailing from eastern Europe (the Balkans), Paprika Balkanikus, they play there home and own brand of Traditional Music. Something happened that ive never seen before, people dancing to this sort of music, you see it on tv in old films etc, but you don't expect emos dancing to this sort of stuff, it was a very happy surprise because i thought it was awesome to see these 4 guys, rocking the joint, with a Guitar, violin, some kind of bass and an accordion, yes the academy got rocked by an accordion. I couldn't pick up any of the songs that were played because i don't understand Romanian, but what i did understand was that the crowd were having a blast with something you just don't here. Brilliant.

Photo Of Cat Empire © Copyright Robert LawrenceThe Cat Empire is a large group of musicians, including two sets of male vocals, two trumpets, trombone, tenor saxophone, drums, keys, and a DJ. There sound can only be described as a tuneful mismash of jazz, ska, funk and rock with a heavy Latin sound at times, and at some points a slight tinge of cheesy euro pop. Again Ive never seen such crowd participation before even from bigger bands, even they some times they don't make it past the first few rows, but this was front to back singing along from the off, with opener Fishies, ive never heard of this band before, or this song for this matter, but the room certainly did, and the room was certainly full of emo kids, don't seem like there type of music, but what do i know, they followed it up with Days and then Darkness, the crowd seemed to be there singing along to these rather lengthy tracks. There set also included songs such as, How to explain, Lost song, Sly, So many Nights. They Finished off there set with Chariot, which went down a storm, on this particularly wet day this band injected some much need sunshine, the crowd and the band looked rather happy with the way things went down tonight, good show.

Paprika Balkanikus - 4/5
Cat Empire - 4/5

Review By Robert Lawrence

 Cat Empire

Felix Riebl (Percussion, Vocals)
Harry J Angus (Trumpet, Vocals)
Will Hull-Brown (Drums)
Ollie McGill (Keys)
Ryan Monro
Jamshid Khadiwala (aka Jumps) (Decks, Percussion)

 Paprika Balkanikus

Bogdan Vacarescu (Violin)
Jozef 'Teets' Secnik (Bass)
Vlad Jocic (Guitar)

 Band Related Links
Paprika Balkanicus Myspace
Cat Empire Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?