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The Cat Empire

Written by Zarina Varley on March 10, 2009

For a good few years now, my friends have come to associate me with The Cat Empire. Any mention of the Melbourne band anywhere and I’d be sure to get a text or a phone call from someone saying “Dude, the Cat Empire are on TV” or something along those lines. This is of course due to the fact that I’m, well, to put it mildly, a bit of a fan, so naturally I jumped (haha) at the chance to have a chat with the band’s DJ/Turntableist DJ Jumps.

The party band have just realised their long awaited live album as well as a live DVD and are currently touring the country, adding to the tally of their nearly 700 live shows. I asked Jumps why they finally decided to release a live album. “Well it’s something that the fans have been asking for for a while now, but we wanted to have a strong selection of songs to pick from” says Jumps. “It’s just nice after we’ve recorded four albums and that we’ve now got a fair few songs to choose from throughout our career. We also thought it would be cool to have songs from shows we’ve done all over the world, so we’ve got tracks recorded at shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Woodford, London, Paris, Canada and the States.”

As the CD and DVD are all about live experiences, I thought I’d ask Jumps about some of the more memorable moments that the band has had. “Well easily the most memorable moment was when we met James Brown a few years ago. We were supporting him on his Australian tour. The actual meeting was brief, and the whole band was there, but he shook everyone’s hand. We were all extremely star struck and really quiet and he was trying to cheer us up because he thought we were down, but we were just shell shocked! He even signed a couple of my records.”

“The funniest moment was when we were in Europe somewhere, I think it was Copenhagen. This dude wanted to stage dive, so he got up on the barrier, but there were a bunch of girls at the front, so when he jumped, they all kind of spread apart. I guess it’s not really that funny as the dude was hurt pretty badly and had to be taken to the hospital, but the funny part was that his girlfriend stayed to watch the rest of the show rather than going with him!”

The live DVD is full of footage that the band shot themselves as well as from their show at the Sidney Myer music bowl early last year, and gives us all an insight into their crazy touring antics. I can proudly say that I’ve been to 31 Cat Empire shows, including seven nights in a row at the Metro Theatre. “Only 31?” Jumps teased. “What about the other 600 or so?” Looks like I’ve got some catching up to do!

Live on Earth and Live at the Bowl both available in stores now! http://www.thecatempire.com

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