Cats In Space Are Sublime At The Borderline
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Cats In Space: Borderline, London, 13th September 2017

liz medhurst
Words: Liz Medhurst Photos: Eric Duvet
18th September 2017

cats in space

New sensations Cats In Space are visiting earthlings on their headline UK tour, which is one of the hottest tickets in town right now. This tour is in support of second album, 'Scarecrow', and the setlist was as finely crafted as the superb album.

Proceedings got underway with a strong start from vintage rockers Kaato, providing a fun and energetic set which warmed us up nicely.

The Cats entered to iconic 70s themes and blasted into 'Too Many Gods' and 'Mad Hatter's Tea Party'. We were bombarded with harmony and melody and riffs and intelligent lyrics; a complete package which got us moving and singing along right from the start.

Just for tonight we were throwing cats ears instead of the horns, especially at Dean Howard's guitar solos which were nearly blowing the roof off and belying the fact that the first gig in the tour had to be postponed due to his hospitalisation. Fortunately he's totally recovered now.

cats in space
Greg Hart

There's a lot of talk about the healing power of music and it's something that is not confined to plinky-plonky noises in spas or scientifically analysed orchestral numbers. It's in the ability to completely lose yourself in waves of highly crafted gorgeousness where you can't take the smile off your face and lifts your spirits to a degree that you know everything's going to be all right. This is what we experienced tonight and the impact cannot be understated.

The heady days of the best of the 70s is still their USP, with glimpses of Queen, 10cc and ELO all still present and correct. But by God, these guys know how to craft a song and they are very much their own band; it's development of the sound, not a pastiche of it.

cats in space
Steevi Bacon

Every element worked tonight; so much light and shade, a great mix of songs from the two albums and some breathtaking segues, notably 'Unfinished Symphony' into 'September Rain'.

It's not just the music either, the Cats are immaculately groomed and looked ace, particularly with the perfectly matched facial hair of Greg Hart, Paul Manzi and Jeff Brown.

A mid-set wow moment came with 'Scarecrow', a track which many bands would give up their whiskers to have in their repertoire, and the craziest thing of all is that this isn't a one-off; the set is stuffed with this sort of brilliance.

cats in space
Jeff Brown and Dean Howard

An epic glam rock double led us into the encores, with the stunning 'Broken Wing' and Slade's 'How Does It Feel', which they have really made their own.

Following a beautiful piano interlude by hot shot keyboard player Andy Stewart, we were treated to a colossal 'The Greatest Story Ever Told'. If Cats In Space continue like this it just might well be. They certainly aren't the 'Five Minute Celebrity' as described in the track that closed this sensational show.

cats in space
Greg Hart and Paul Manzi

Too Many Gods
The Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Last Man Standing
Unfinished Symphony/September Rain
Time Bomb
How Many Times
Mr Heartache
How Does It Feel
Broken Wing

Piano Interlude
The Greatest Story Ever Told
Five Minute Celebrity

cats in space

Paul Manzi

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