The Cat Empire Disband - Noise11.com
The Cat Empire

The Cat Empire at Noise11. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

The Cat Empire Disband

by Paul Cashmere on September 16, 2021

in News

The Cat Empire have announced their break-up.

In a post the band collectively wrote:

After 20 incredible years of touring and making music together, we have made the decision to disband, and to make way for a new incarnation of The Cat Empire to come to life fronted by Felix and Ollie.

Will (Drums), Ryan (Bass-departed the band March 2021), Harry (Vox/Trumpet), Jamshid Dj Jumps (Decks/Percussion), and our Manager Correne will all be celebrating final moments with The Cat Empire in December 2021.

At this juncture, Felix (Front-man/Percussion) and Ollie (Keys) will take the band forward into its next global chapter as a re-imagined, vibrant, cross-cultural, and joyful collective of musicians and artists.

The Cat Empire began as a musical jazz project in Melbourne, Australia in 2001, and took on a life of its own, so much bigger than any of us could have even dreamed or imagined. As we look back on the past two decades, we are so proud of what we achieved; from the (almost 1500) live shows and festivals we have played around the world, to the seven studio albums which resulted in global chart success, as well as our cherished independence, and more importantly the interpersonal experiences we amassed and grew from. We directed our own musical adventure and created our own opportunities along the way.

We’ve played Letterman and Leno, Bonnaroo and SummerStage NYC, opened the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, performed at Bluesfest 15 times, Falls Festival 11, Woodford Folk 10, Winnipeg Folk Festival 8 times, and Blues Balls (Switzerland) and Adelaide Fringe 7 times each. More than half of our live audience lives in Europe. We hold the record for the most shows played in a row at Edinburgh Festival (16), and in 2019 we played Glastonbury twice!

We cherish our global audience who took us into their hearts, homes, venues and festivals, returning over and over to sing and dance with us. As we toured the world, our fanbase grew and so did we. The enthusiasm of our audience has sustained us through tough times and has kept us making and delivering music for all these years. We’ve met babies named after us, heard heart-warming and heart-wrenching stories about what our music has meant to people, and we’ve seen hundreds of tattoos of our logo on various body parts! We are forever indebted to every one of the lovely faces in the crowd at each of our shows, for the joy you showered back at us over two decades.

On Thursday December 16 we will celebrate the past 20 years of The Cat Empire in a unique final VIC performance with the original band line-up at The Sidney Myer Music Bowl in our hometown of Melbourne. This all-ages event featuring songs and special guests from our entire career will be broadcast to the world as an epic virtual concert for fans everywhere to enjoy.

Queenslanders will have the chance to see the original line-up one last time at Sandstone Point Hotel on Sunday December 5 (18+), and Western Australian audiences will be treated to the show on Saturday December 11 at Red Hill Auditorium.

Tickets for the WA, QLD and VIC shows, as well as tickets to attend the virtual final concert of the original line-up will go on sale at 10am on Tuesday September 21. (If Covid restrictions prevent any of these shows going ahead, shows will be re-scheduled and/or refunds offered).

To mark this milestone moment of change in The Cat Empire’s career, The Adelphia Sessions – a hybrid of select tracks from The Sun (2002) and Live @ Adelphia (2001) will be released from the archives In October.

Due to huge demand for its return, the album Cities (2006) will be made available to stream through your favourite digital platform in November.

We will also share two more brand new songs in October following on from the July release of Going To Live and Great Beauty and August release of The Scream and Coming To Meet You.

In the meantime, deepest thanks for sharing this journey with us, for your devotion, for playing our music, sharing it with your friends and family, carrying it around the world in your backpacks, allowing it to be the soundtrack to your big life moments, for attending our shows, and for making it all so worthwhile and enriching.

We have so much to celebrate. We leave each other with full hearts, healthy relationships, and a deep respect for each other and the musical journey we have shared together, and with the world. We firmly believe The Cat Empire has an enduring mission to continue to bring great music, exemplary musicianship, and joyful moments to the world. The spirit of the band will flow through to the next chapter as Felix and Ollie and many guest musicians grow The Cat Empire into a global collective with new and exciting music set for release in 2022.

Best Wishes from The Cat Empire

The Cat Empire’s first line-up as a three-piece was with Ollie McGill, Felix Riebl and Ryan Munro in 1999. The first single ‘Feline’ came in 2001. The first album ‘The Cat Empire’ was released in 2003.

The Cat Empire released eight albums between 2003 and 2019. They had six Top 5 albums and two number one albums with ‘Two Shoes’ (2005) and ‘Rising With The Sun’ (2016).

In a post to social media the band collectively wrote:

After 20 incredible years of touring and making music together, we have made the decision to disband, and to make way for a new incarnation of The Cat Empire to come to life fronted by Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill.

Will Hull-Brown (Drums), Ryan Monro (Bass-departed the band March 2021), Harry Angus (Vox/Trumpet), Jamshid (Dj Jumps) Khadiwala (Decks/Percussion), and our career-long Manager

Correne Wilkie will all be celebrating final moments with The Cat Empire in December 2021.

We have so much to celebrate. We leave each other with full hearts, healthy relationships, and a deep respect for each other and the musical journey we have shared together and with the world.

The spirit of the band will flow through to the next chapter as Felix and Ollie grow The Cat Empire into a global collective with new and exciting music set for release in 2022.

We will celebrate 20 years of the original line-up with final shows in Western Australia, Queensland, and Victoria in December 2021. For those who can’t physically attend, tickets will be made available to access a virtual concert of the final event. Tickets on sale Tuesday, September 21 at 10.00 am.

The Cat Empire’s first line-up as a three-piece was with Ollie McGill, Felix Riebl and Ryan Munro in 1999. The first single ‘Feline’ came in 2001. The first album ‘The Cat Empire’ was released in 2003.

The Cat Empire released eight albums between 2003 and 2019. They had six Top 5 albums and two number one albums with ‘Two Shoes’ (2005) and ‘Rising With The Sun’ (2016).

The Cat Empire Original Line-Up Final Shows

Sunday December 5, 2021 – Sandstone Point Hotel QLD (18+)
Saturday December 11, 2021 – Red Hill Auditorium WA (under 18’s permitted with a guardian)
Thursday December 16, 2021 – Sidney Myer Music Bowl VIC (all ages)
Saturday, December 18, 2021 – Virtual Concert of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl Melbourne Final VIC Show
Tickets for the final show of the original line-up in WA, QLD and VIC, and for the virtual concert will go on sale on Tuesday September 21 at 10.00am local time in each state.

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