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The Cats are coming to town

Horns, saxophone, turntable, banjos, percussion just part of the sum of Cat Empire

What the Tragically Hip is to Canadians, The Cat Empire is to Australians. And with inaugural world-wide release of The Cat Empire’s latest album on their 2006 World Tour, the double-platinum phenomena is touching down in Whistler for an unheard of intimate concert experience Monday, June 26 at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC).

Sure you could mull among the thousands at the Commodore Ballroom when The Cat Empire plays the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, but you can also get up close and personal with Australia’s number one band when they come to Whistler. Quite an opportunity when you consider the Cats recently performed to 200,000-plus people at the Commonweatlh Games Opening Ceremonies.

Anyone of sound mind who has checked out past GLC exotic adventures – New York’s Gogol Bordello or the off-the-wall harmonics of Vancouver’s Mother – knows GLC entertainment headhunter Reverend J. Michael Varrin always unearths diamonds in the rough, and The Cat Empire is no exception.

Playing in the six-member Empire is like playing in eight different bands, with a fusion of hip hop, gypsy, Latin, reggae, jazz and dancehall all rolled into one unconventional sound.

With horns, saxophone, turntable, banjos, percussion, piano, double bass, guitar and a three-dancer hip-hop team, the Melbourne lads deliver a hot-ticket, high-energy show. The Aussies’ first foray into Canada brought together crowds of 30,000-plus for concerts that sold out within three weeks.

The World Tour marks the special edition release of their newest album, Two Shoes, on Montreal’s Indica Records. The album, which debuted at number one in Australia, includes tracks recorded in Havana with producer Jerry Boys of Buena Vista Social Club.

Tickets are $20 for the first 50, $25 for 100 thereafter and $30 for the rest of the bunch. Pick them up in advance at the GLC.