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And while Riebl admits The Cat Empire’s 1,000th show at Federation Square was one of the band’s biggest highlights so far, he adds that touring Europe - and especially the UK - just may come in at a close second when it comes to the best things to happen for his band in 2014.

Partly it is to do with the group’s loyal fan base, which extends all the way to London, and partly it is due to the majestic venues The Cat Empire is set to perform in over July and August, according to the singer.

“We’ll be touring for about six weeks in early July and mid-August,” Riebl explains. “Our fan base is amazing and very passionate in Europe - many of them travel from place to place just to see us. I consider The Cat Empire to be a pretty international band in terms of our identity, so I can see why our music would appeal to people around the world.

"The two UK shows are something that I am particularly looking forward to - any chance we get to go there is something that I am thrilled to take on. The Somerset House show is the one that I am extremely looking forward to because I’ve been looking up some of the venue’s pictures and it looks quite magical, actually. The Boom Town Fair, which we will be taking part in, looks equally as eccentric and I think that one should be really chilled out. I think both of the shows and the sort of atmosphere they seem to have about them should be terrific for a band like us.”

Virtually impossible to categorise due to their melting pot of sounds and influences, The Cat Empire are best described as a festival band who are akin to a travelling troupe of musical showies. A strong festive spirit has always defined the band at its core, and the effect this has had on their audiences over the last decade has cemented The Cat Empire’s reputation as one of the ‘must-see’ live bands to ever come out of Australia.

“There is definitely a festive spirit in the band and that probably translates really went into the festival setting,” offers Riebl. “I think when you take all of our influences and the music we like, and when you fuse them together, you embrace all those contrasts and you end up with something that is entirely unique. If you express that festive attitude as well, then it really does begin to feel like you’re putting on a small, private festival of your own night after night. If you think about it, festivals are made up of contrasts that are slammed against each other - often you’ll get bands that are of very different genres billed one after another - and that’s what makes that special dynamic and theatrical space.

"To have a bunch of musicians who can improvise quite a lot on stage and fans who want to hear something a little bit different, then that’s where that spirit of The Cat Empire is at its most alive. Our fans have one very important thing in common - they have that dancing spirit. They want to move their bodies and they want to take in that powerful energy that only music can bring."


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Interview: The Cat Empire
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