Cats in Space – Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023

Exploding onto the stage with bombastic aplomb, the cats were ready to rock us out of our seats.  ‘King of Stars’ and ‘Teenage Millionaire’ hit the spot immediately.

Words: Francijn Suermondt / Pictures: Paul Sabin

Something landed in Paignton at the weekend with a spectacularly supersonic BOOM …and it was just what the doctor ordered!  After a day full of work meetings and a COVID booster jab, I was not feeling my most sparkly, but the stage set alone from these cosmic rock crusaders gave me all the shimmer and glitter I needed!

‘Cats in Space’ landed on our planet in 2015, and they have brought a well needed dose of 70’s classic inspired rock which has a soupcon of flavour of only the tastiest of the best bands running through everything they do.  Think Boston and Journey but with a most definite Britishness to boot and you won’t be far off.

Touring to celebrate the launch of their fifth studio album ‘Kickstart the Sun’, this fine pedigree of felines has been reaching their fanbase consistently, their fans come first and foremost.. and it shows.

With the joy of the superbly cosmic stage complete with a big satellite cat head and large screens (plus a glitter, disco cat helmet, more on that later) tantalising me as no retro Top of The Pops set ever has, I waited in anticipation.

Exploding onto the stage with bombastic aplomb, the cats were ready to rock us out of our seats.  ‘King of Stars’ and ‘Teenage Millionaire’ hit the spot immediately with superb guitars from both Greg Hart and Dean Howard.  These guys play together like a dream and together with the excellent beats laid down by Steevi Bacon, who is reminiscent of a young Tommy Aldridge with curly mane and exceptional stick power, the outcome was an escapism into rock radio wonderland.

Ranging from kick ass in your face rock, to more melodic tracks such as ‘Goodbye to the American Dream’ was a cinch for the vocal power of Damien Edwards, whose superb lungs and range obviously knows no bounds. I have to say this guy is funny too, his interaction with the crowd was great!

The deeply satisfying guitar rich sound endured later with the fabulous ‘Bootleg Bandoleros’ which offered a guitar intro reminiscent of Heart’s ‘Crazy on You’ from Greg which then progressed to a superb double guitar battle treat with Dean Howard, topped off nicely with the crunching deep beat from Jeff Browns bass.

The ballad type tunes such as ‘Big Balloon’ were like a rock lullaby and liquid gold to listen to. The boys had the mix of raw rock and melodic just right throughout the two sets they played.

All the way through the gig, Andy Stewart brought the character of the tracks to the fore, an example would be the song ‘Marionettes’ in the second set, with his keyboard almost sounding like a puppet dancing on strings.  Andy also brought what I felt was the Britishness that I mentioned earlier, a very faint essence of Supergrass or Quireboys in his keyboards, which often transformed into a good dose of Jon Lord, god bless him!

Whilst powdering my nose in the ladies, and chatting to the girls in there, it dawned on me just what a loyal fanbase Cats in Space have and how chuffed they were that the band had made it to the South West (many do not!)  Many of these fans follow the band when they can and the affection they have for Greg, Jeff, Damien, Dean, Steevi and Andy felt more personal than many a gig I have been to.

Whilst the first set offered up delights from the newest album, the second set treated us all to older favourites such as ‘Too Many Gods’, ‘Mad Hatters Tea Party’, ‘Mr Heartache’ and more…much more…the lads didn’t seem to want to stop playing tonight and the crowd was certainly in agreement!  

The Cats had the audience up and shaking their booties with standout tracks such as the extremely tight and solid ‘Johnny Rocket’ and the epic ‘Listen To The Radio’.  The harmonies from the guys were truly beautiful to hear throughout and it is easy to see how much they relish playing and singing together.

At the end of the show, it was plain to see why the Cats fans are so loyal, the band came out and chatted to everyone and were happy to sign autographs and have pictures taken. It is obvious that the boys really appreciate those rockers who come along to see them and it was really a great, close atmosphere enjoyed by everyone.  Many purchases were made of raffle tickets too, for the glitter disco cat helmet…now how cool is that!  I hope I win it!

Unapologetic in their theatrical, rock n roll, shimmer and shine, the ‘Cats in Space’ lads have given me the gift of happiness, positivity and joy in knowing that we have not all ‘Fallen Out of Love with Rock N Roll’ and that the genre from those hazy, happy 70’s days has not been lost to us forever…thank you!

  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023
  • Cats in Space - Live at Paignton Palace Theatre – September 30th 2023

SETLIST

Kickstart the Sun – Intro
King of Stars
Teenage Millionaires
Goodbye to the American Dream
Kickstart the Sun
A Big Balloon
Hero
1,000,000 Miles
Fifty-One Pillow Bed
Poke the Witch
Charlie’s Ego
Bootleg Bandoleros
Set 2:
Too Many Gods
Timebomb
Mr. Heartache
Broken Hearted (Dean Howard guitar solo accompanied by Andy Stewart)
Scars
Marionettes
Atlantis
Johnny Rocket
Thunder in the Night
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
Listen to the Radio
Greatest Story Never Told
Encore:
Hologram Man
I Fell Out of Love With Rock ‘n’ Roll

 

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