Greetings Mr. Hart,! It’s good to hear from you again! Looking forward to the Thunder Tour? “Yes we certainly are! It’s a dream ticket for us to tour with Thunder and it is going to be a fantastic opportunity for us to gain some more Cat fans. Musically, we are kind of in the same area, and as you all know Danny (Bowes, Thunder frontman and all-round geezer) sang on How Does it Feel with us, which we released on vinyl only and sold really well. So it is really cool of them to offer us this tour”.
You’re playing some classic venues on the tour – how does it feel to be playing places – iconic heavy rock venues, really – like The DeMontfort Hall in Leicester and London’s Hammersmith Odeon with Cats in Space? “It is quite incredible, for me personally playing Hammersmith is a total ‘bucket list’ tick. As kids at school we all wanted to be like Thin Lizzy, Queen et cetera and play ‘The Odeon’. We have watched so many legendary bands there, to finally be able to play it too is a real career highlight for me and the Cats. Hammersmith is also the last night of the tour for us, and we have a lot of friends coming, including some of those school friends, so it is going to be a very special and I dare say emotional occasion”.
And an incredibly well-deserved one, if I may say so. So, touring – what would your ideal rider be for each member of the band? “Oh I don’t know… we are all happy Cats really, just decent food , cocktails, and a few beers after the show is good for us, and maybe a selection of green olives if I had a preference… I love green olives! (laughs)”.
But what, in reality, do you get? We hear some horror stories about stingy promoters and venues? Any truth in them? “Well, riders are in the hands of the promoters, and the bands that can demand such things when they are selling a zillion tickets. In truth for us, we are being treated exceptionally well on this tour, and the catering is being taken care of. Happy Cats!”
What’s the best thing about touring? “You get to see and meet the fans, and feel the buzz of what you are doing. You get to see how the songs transcend over a large amount of people, and the feedback you get. It makes all those hours in the studio working on the songs wondering if people will have an ‘emotional attachment’ to them worthwhile. For me hearing people sing your songs is the best feeling in the world –fact”.
And the worst? “I don’t like the travel, yes it is a cliche but very true, it is draining and boring. I miss my cat and my home comforts, but I have done this for so long it is part of my DNA now. I’ve probably spent a third of the last 25 years travelling to a gig somewhere. Crazy but true”.
How do audiences differ from place to place in the UK? Is High Wycombe a more rocking town than Horsham? Or is everywhere much the same? “Cats in Space music we find, gets exactly the same reaction everywhere. I don’t agree that the London and home counties audiences are tougher, we have had incredible responses from every place we have visited so far. I must say tho that some Northern venues go totally bonkers. Getting to play to Thunders’ audience is going to be our first real ‘test’ so we need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed every night to win them over I know. But we love being onstage and we do have a laugh there, which relaxes the audience”.
What piece of kit is essential to your piece of mind whilst on tour? And what little luxury that maybe you shouldn’t take on the road would you like to spirit away on the tour bus? “I am not a gadget person, or someone that needs a load of ‘man bags’ with them (I should say Cat bags!), so my phone and my notebook is all I bother about. If I could I would travel with my Cat, but he probably wouldn’t be too keen”.
Any other Cat business we should be aware of? “2017 is looking to be an amazing year for us, we have the second album sizzling away which we shall announce soon, and I promise it will blow your roof off- I am beyond excited with the results and it has been the most adventurous album I have ever been allowed to do, thanks to my management team putting their belief in us all. It is special.
There’s more festival dates lining up, and more tours we are told, and other dates too. We also have a fan group on Facebook now asides from the Official one, so all you good Cat fans should go there to keep up to date with all the happenings. We look forward to seeing you all out there somewhere!”
Cats in Space hit the road in support of Thunder, with the first date tonight at the Manchester Apollo in the UK.