I’ve seen Town Of Cats (TOC) before so knew I was in for a good night at the launch of their new single ‘Demon’ on 6 March but all my expectations were more than exceeded. Met at the door by the effervescent front man, Joe Travis-Dean, he was next up on stage as MC – one of his many guises of the evening –  setting out the format for the evening, which included filming of the performance of ‘Demon’  by Studio Brown Bear.

Arabella Hate Club were the first act on stage; playing a cracking set, which had the already reasonably sized crowd dancing & cheering but more of them another day.

[pullquote_left] at recent gigs we’ve been challenging crowds to get above 8 on our dance Richter scale for ‘Demon’… we didn’t do that tonight but the crowd got it to a 10 anyway [/pullquote_left]
After a swift change around Lady Luck & The Late Night Players were next. This band came highly recommended but I hadn’t seen them before so I was looking forward to their set. Lady luck echoed my thoughts when announcing half way through “& if you haven’t seen us before, why not?” Being stood with one of their fans I remarked on how good their drummer was only to find out he (Cameron) was actually dep for the night. My friend was amazed at how Cameron had picked up the subtle nuances given to each song by the regular drummer. Lady Luck & her players are an awesome act and thoroughly deserve their excellent reputation.

The choice of support acts was inspired and it was great to see a strong female presence in all 3 bands, especially as it was the eve of International Women’s Day.  Reading Festival could’ve learned a thing or two!

Before TOC even took to the stage it was clear a good night was being had by all.  Since the last time I saw this band they’ve had a change of drummer and new guy Jake Hughes certainly seems to have settled in well.  So well in fact that he’d joined the ‘strip to the waist’ that is usually the domain of Mr T-D. First song of the set was‘Twists of Fate’.  This track builds up to a wild crescendo and worked well in getting the crowd going crazy from the off.  Travis-Dean had the crowd eating out of his hand; encouraging them to get down during ‘Dead Zone’ and there was literally no man or woman standing until everyone jumped up in unison at his command.
For ‘Demon’ the band were all wearing red devil masks which added an extra bit of theater and drama to the performance. The band were very polished and slick and I thought I saw a little bit of a triumphant exchange between Barney (sax & flute) and Suz (trombone) when they clearly nailed the new single spot on. Speaking to Adam Pollack (bass) afterward he told me “..at recent gigs we’ve been challenging crowds to get above 8 on our dance Richter scale for ‘Demon’… we didn’t do that tonight but the crowd got it to a 10 anyway” This was so true.  In fact, as I looked around (I was reviewing this launch after all) there was a sea of people stretching from the stage back to the sound booth by the venue entrance all dancing and singing along.

TOC songs are always well crafted and catchy; with great tunes and clever words. ‘Demon’ is no exception.  I heard it for the second time at the gig and after just a couple of plays it is lodged very firmly as my earworm.  The track is hard to categorize, which is not a bad thing, with flavours of ska, gypsy and funk all flowing through it. The track starts with an almost Caribbean beat and subtle bass that builds up to quite a jazz funk feel. Next comes the guitar, then brass, then finally the vocals.  The instruments swoop, soar and entwine together making music reminiscent of something that might be heard in a New Orleans carnival parade. In short, I love this track and it makes an excellent addition to the ever-growing catalogue of great tunes from a brilliant band.

To buy your copy of the single follow the link http://townofcatsband.bandcamp.com it’s a steal at donations of £1 or more.

WRITTEN BY Jacqueline Mitrovic – First published in Brighton Unsigned April 2015

Town Of Cats – Demon Launch night