A GREAT Sunday session is second nature for Felix Riebl.
While most people will be winding down after a big weekend and preparing themselves for the working week, Riebl and his band The Cat Empire will be holding court at the O2 Academy Brixton on 20 October when they visit London as part of their Steal The Light world tour.
To win two tickets to The Cat Empire’s Brixton gig see Win Tickets to The Cat Empire.
And no, he’s not groaning about playing on a Sunday night in the slightest.
“We got a history of making Sunday nights a lively one,” he tells Australian Times.
“We used to do a residency at a place called the Prince of Wales in Melbourne on Sunday nights, and they became notoriously late and wild.”
Riebl is unsure as to why the shows became so epic – but he figures punters turning up at that date and time really don’t care for Monday-itis.
“Maybe because everyone’s exhausted already, they just let loose, and resolve to the fact that Monday is usually tedious anyway.
“I just whisper to myself before going on [from Henry V] ‘Once more over the breach, dear friends, once more…’”
In fact, Riebl is literally jumping out of his skin waiting for the 20 October show, as he lists O2 Academy Brixton as one of his top five favourite venues in the world.
He also rates London as “number one place in all of the UK/Europe in terms of the atmosphere and energy of the audiences”, thus making the city a happy hunting ground for the band.
“We have a long history of playing shows in London.
“I think the first time we played at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and then Brixton Academy were very special moments,” he says.
“They both have a great history of artists and bands who’ve performed there, and I felt a real sense of occasion being there.
“When you look out on those rooms, it’s such a diverse group of people, and that gives me a real kick.”
Along with plenty of their past hits and cuts from their back catalogue, fans can expect a solid dose of tracks from The Cat Empire’s new album Steal The Light – which was released here in the UK in late August.
Reibl believes the new material “has made a great transition to the stage’, and took inspiration from two separate trips to some diverse locations when composing the album.
The first was the Greek capital of Athens – and he couldn’t have picked a more full-on time to go.
“I went to Athens for the special Olympics to spend some time with friends and write some music, but it was also during the height of the austerity riots,” Riebl says.
“It was a chaotic place to be, highly charged, and often sad, but it was also strange and beautiful as well.”
The second trip — to the American hub of New Orleans — was an entirely different experience, as Riebl immersed himself in the city’s famous Jazz festival.
“Seeing John Cleary, Dr John, (Bruce) Springsteen, Little Band of Gold, and a whole bunch of others, as well as wandering about the ninth ward was a colourful and lively experience,” he says.
“It brought me back to something essential. After being there I knew I wanted to write lyrics with colourful, iconic, strange images. Something like that, anyway.”
The end result has been described as extremely upbeat, and internally, Steal The Light is seen as being on par with The Cat Empire’s debut record as their most ‘danceable’ release yet.
“I feel those two albums are very close in terms of their atmosphere, also their approach to recording,” Riebl says.
“They are both albums people can put on at a house party, cook to, or travel with, and they come to life in that way.
“I’m pleased with Steal The Light and I really enjoy singing the new songs.”
Riebl and the band will be living and breathing Steal The Light for the next 6-12 months as they tour and promote the album around the globe.
Indeed, it’s the self-satisfaction with the record and opportunity to interact with the fans that makes Riebl more amped than ever to hit the road.
“The world tour reflects our faith in the album, and my aim is to try and make the most of it, and share it with the fans,” he says.
“They really do give us an awful lot of encouragement, and it seems we can’t help but do our bit, and get it out there.”
The Cat Empire play at O2 Academy Brixton on Sunday, 20 October. Steal The Light is out now through Two Shoes Records. For more information and to get tickets to the show visit Thecatempire.com.
Check out the new single from The Cat Empire – Steal The Light: