CATS EYES - ST PHILIPS CHURCH, SALFORD -14.3.11
The Horrors front-man, Faris Badwan has teamed up with Canadian opera singer Rachel Zeffira and strange as it may seem, resulting in a brilliant collision of two very different musical entities.
Badwan’s new band Cat’s Eyes performed at St Philips in Salford as one of three gigs scheduled for the UK.
A church in the centre of Manchester might seem a strange concert venue considering Manchester’s musical history and much sought after stage space where the likes of New Order and Oasis once played. But for Cat’s Eyes the venue was in fact a step-down from St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican city, where they first performed live together.
Never-the-less as guests entered the darkened venue, photographers hoped that when when the event kicked-off that there would be more light. And there certainly was, with the most dramatic light show yet staged. An 80ft screen was strung across the back of the stage and projected onto it was the most amazing kaleidoscope of colour.
Sadly, there was no supporting band, Cat’s Eyes quietly entered the stage and opened up straight away with the brilliant Cats Eyes followed by Lucifer Sam and Not a Friend. Badwan delivered an optimum performance, his vocals powerfully deep and soulful and he is certainly more aggressive on stage, than off. Zeffira’s crystal clear voice rang out like a choir-girl’s away from the chancel and up into the galleries. A pair perfectly matched from different ends of the musical spectrum.
And from what the fans couldn’t see they could certainly hear as they were taken-in by the absorbing auditory feast. There was no requests for audience interaction, Faris knew exactly how to reach out to his loyal followers both lyrically and visually. It’s difficult to explain the exuberance, you’ll have to go and see them for yourself.
The duo are due to release their début album, Cat’s Eyes in April. Their EP Broken Glass is available as a download or as two 7” singles. None of the tracks from the EP are on the album as this has been purposely thought-out by Badwan and he has quoted “The tracks that didn’t make it onto the album, it wasn’t a case of them being weaker ones, we just wanted something that felt like a whole from start to finish.”
And as if they aren’t busy enough they have already started work on album number two.
Cat’s Eyes closed the gig with an uncompromising performance of Sunshine Girls. There was no encore, instead Badwan silently heading straight for the solitude of the Vestry.
As the roadies packed up the equipment, ready to cart off to their next performance, some fans hung back to chill with the ‘not-so-chatty’ Badwan and his band.
Cat’s Eyes last UK performance this tour will be on Wednesday 27th April at the Scala in London and they will finally finish in Milan in May.
Set-list as follows:
Not a Friend
Best Person I Know
Face in the Crowd
Sooner or Later
I’m not Stupid
Cat’s Eyes: A collection of tracks including ‘I Knew It Was Over’ performed live at the Vatican.
Words/Photo: Amanda J Window
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All Interviews by Alex McCann unless otherwise stated
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