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On a high from celebrating their 1,000th gig with more than 10,000 people, The Cat Empire are ready to make the UK party...

Talk about a pleasant surprise and one hell of a way to celebrate a major milestone.

When Australia’s favourite festival band, The Cat Empire, recently performed their 1,000th show at Melbourne’s Federation Square, more than 10,000 people showed up to rise to the special occasion. This made for one of the most fun and memorable experiences frontman Felix Riebl and his travelling crew of musos have ever had. That was back in March of this year, and now, come July and August, The Cat Empire are set to make a return to England for what Reibl describes as the 'centre point' of the band’s upcoming European tour.

“It was a great way for us to start the year,” says the singer of the Federation Square milestone show. “We’d had a very relaxing three or four months at the start of 2014 where we just did a couple of gigs, including the Falls Festival, and then we had our 1,000th show, which was just amazing.

"It was a free outdoor concert in Melbourne and the turn out was incredible. It was such a surprise to us. We learnt that something like 10,000 people actually turned up and it was a really great range in terms of ages. Some of them had been with us for the last 10 years, so it was a real mixture of older people, adults and kids - a really amazing cross-section of the city for this big event. ”

Never one to normally get worked up or make a big deal out of milestones, Riebl claims that in this case, it was near impossible to retain his composure. Witnessing a sea of people approaching the stage almost out of nowhere was nothing short of goose-bump inducing, according to the singer.

“We weren’t sure what kind of show it would be in general. I don’t tend to really think much of celebrating milestones or anything like that, I don’t plan things like that. It’s just usually a spontaneous thing when I happen to have a good night. I really wasn’t expecting very much from this event, to be honest.

“At first I had a peek out to the stage and I saw there were some people out the front, but then about 15 minutes before we walked onto the stage and began to play, literally a sea of people arrived out of the blue and we were faced with this complete surprise! I believe that’s the best way to deal with milestones - to be genuinely surprised by them, to let the whole process happen naturally and to just go with the flow. I think that’s basically the way that most good things happen anyway.”


Talkback


Interview: The Cat Empire
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