In a nation facing a cost of living crisis, mental health issues off the scale and the government literally laughing at us plebs, there was only one thing to do on a cold Saturday night – head to West London and watch Cat SFX.
Opening up for Cast and The Gulps at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Alan McGee’s darlings Cat SFX strut on stage with the confidence of future headliners, and rightly so.
Prowling onto the stage, hair in bunches and dressed in an oh-so-tight mini-catsuit and thigh-high black lace-up boots, singer Caterina Speranza swirled, swivelled, wriggled and writhed her way through the adrenaline fuelled set as she belted out each number with intensity and conviction. This was dirty god-damned rock and roll, up close and personal.
This is a band who will surely soon be millionaires. Quite fittingly, the guitarist channelled the ghost of a stage shredding, show-boating Delboy, sporting a chain and jacket that any well-to-do trader or 1970s football manager would be proud to own. Oh, and a suede shoe sir? Suits you..
The bassist rocked the rough around the edges hipster look whilst the beat sat in the shadows with a flipped back cap and that, dear reader, is as far as the fashion stretches.
It didn’t really matter what was being worn, the band were hungry for it and musically tight from start to finish. Proceedings opened with a mighty blast of speedy indie pop, showcasing the real essence of Cat SFX – bouncy music with disturbing, thoughtful, honest and open lyrics. Doom Generation kicked things off majestically.
The wonderful sleazy dark melody of Upside Down had pleasing hints of early Sleeper. In our humble opinion, the rawness of this live performance had more resonance than the polished, slightly overproduced recorded version.
One might have imagined the the pedal was fully to the metal at the point, but then the overdrive was engaged and the Nitrous switch was flicked with new single Rodeo . This was the most unashamedly headbanging, cymbal slamming, shouty punk number of the whole set, interspersed with simple but catchy riffs. As Cat chanted, ‘aint no democracy, just mediocrity, it’s all hypocrisy, just mediocrity’ the middle-aged, beer laden Cast devotees started to look away from the bar and move towards the stage.
Worthy set closer, Reunite was a powerful pop punk attack on government, the patriarchy, pharmaceutical corporations, and neoliberalism in general, that rang in our ears louder than a party at Downing Street.
CAT SFX PLAYED SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE, 29 JANUARY 2022
Words Copyright – 1st 3 Magazine
Live Images Copyright – 1st 3 Magazine
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