CATS IN SPACE
'Too Many Gods' Album Launch Plus Exclusive Video Interview
The Half Moon, Putney London
6th January 2016
Photos by Dave Craig
One of the best and most certainly refreshing albums to be released at the tail end of last year was the debut offering from the wonderfully named Cats In Space with their 'Too Many Gods' album which has a sound totally inspired by the sparkling sounds of the seventies.
We're not just talking about the rocking sounds of Bowie, T-Rex and Thin Lizzy here but also completely unashamedly the delightful smooth tones of The Carpenters and ABBA, all of which are embedded into what makes Cats In Space stand out head and shoulders above every other band currently aiming for a retro sound from the golden age of rock n' roll from the seventies.
Cats In Space certainly have pedigree with a family tree that includes T'Pau, Ian Gillan, The Sweet, Robin Trower, Arena, Oliver Wakeman, as well as AORsters Airrace and Moritz.
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This was an album launch for 'Too Many Gods' and was also the debut performance from the band which attracted a large crowd waiting in excited anticipation which included Thunder's Danny Bowes, Tino Troy from Praying Mantis and Dave 'Bucket' Cowell formerly of Bad Company.
The one nagging doubt I had before this gig was whether the band could reproduce the polished sounds they had on vinyl onto the live stage. That was quickly answered as soon as Cats In Space made their arrival and zapped into the title track with clear clarity followed by the reflective 'Last Man Standing', a heartfelt song about the disappearing iconic music venues and shops from the London landscape.
Paul Manzi makes for a great frontman with his high energy and curly locks not seen since the 'Hair Bear Bunch'. Founder Greg Hart and Dean Howard make for a great partnership peeling off the subtle riffs.
Andy Stewart has an imposing sound on the keys, the way that a keyboard should be heard and not hidden in the background. Bassist Jeff Brown proves he too has a great voice, as he takes the lead vocal for the grandiose epic 'The Greatest Story Never Told'.
The album gets played in its entirety and there's not a dull moment throughout, even when Manzi declares before your very eyes that Andy Stewart is the grandson of the late comedian Arthur Askey, it is met with impressive hushed voices.
'Mr Heartache' gets the biggest cheer popularised by its 19,000 views on YouTube. The honest and hopeful 'Unfinished Symphony' ends a tantalising set with a snippet of Scott Walker's 'No Regrets' thrown in for good measure.
And how could one argue with the perfect choices for the encores with covers of Slade's mega ballad 'How Does It Feel' and a blitzing version of Sweet's hardcore 'Burn On The Flame'
Cats In Space have landed. "Ay-Thang-Yaw".
Too Many Gods
Last Man Standing
Only In Vegas
Man In The Moon
The Greatest Story Never Told
Five Minute Celebrity
Unfinished Symphony / No Regrets
How Does It Feel
Burn On The Flame
Before the show MetalTalk's Mark Taylor got to speak to guitarist Greg Hart and vocalist Paul Manzi about life in Cats In Space and the making of the album 'Too Many Gods':