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20 September 2011

The Cat Empire return to the UK -
youthful veterans celebrate first decade

In 2011 THE CAT EMPIRE mark the 10th anniversary of their first show together and, to celebrate, the Aussie band return to the UK for 10 eagerly awaited gigs. In an industry where few bands survive beyond the first album, 10 years is a big achievement. Considering Ryan, Will, Ollie, Harry, Jumps, Felix and the Empire Horns - Ross and Kieran - are still all under the age of 30, and have consolidated themselves as a world class touring act, it's outstanding.

The Cat Empire's 10 year anniversary is rare success story, which shows that a combination of hard work, great songs, a good vibe, a genuine vision, and a little bit of luck go a long way. The first Australian tours were undertaken in a convoy of cars handed down from parents, or borrowed from friends, sleeping on the floors of friends of friends, and putting up their own posters at each stop. Word quickly spread about this young band that could deliver a party like no other. Soon they were undertaking national tours, and financing their first album, all under their own steam. By the time they signed their first record deal they were packing out concert halls in each Australian major city, and had a solid fan base all over the country.

The band members credit their Australian fans and international backpackers in Australia for marketing them overseas. "Everywhere we went overseas, people would come up to us and say a friend in Australia sent them the album, or 'one of our mates who travelled through Australia brought it back and we all burned it!'" In fact, The Cat Empire suspect illegal piracy of their album overseas ended up being their greatest marketing tool. "We would arrive in cities like Berlin and Barcelona for the first time, and everyone in the audience would already know the words to every song. I guess the money we lost in CD sales through those territories, we have made by getting so many fans on board, so although we don't endorse it, we certainly can't begrudge the file sharing."

The band has now sold over a million albums and DVDs. They have headlined global festivals, won ARIAs, and played on Letterman and Leno and maintained a cool under-the-radar presence while still playing to stadiums worth of fans at each stop. When asked what their biggest achievement is in 10 years as a band, there is a unanimous, "Staying together". Here's to the next decade?

Tues Oct 18 Bournemouth O2 Academy
Wed Oct 19 Birmingham O2 Academy
Thurs Oct 20 London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
Friday Oct 21 London O2 Academy Brixton
Sun Oct 23 Bristol O2 Academy
Mon Oct 24 Bristol O2 Academy
Tues Oct 25 Sheffield O2 Academy
Wed Oct 26 Glasgow O2 ABC
Thurs Oct 27 Newcastle O2 Academy
Sat Oct 29 Manchester Academy

Tickets for all shows from ticketweb.co.uk / 0844 477 2000 except Manchester - gigsandtours.com or 0161 832 1111


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