As the Kodaline gig ended very early (read here our review), we decided to attend another gig, hoping it didn’t start before 11. And so it was!
When we arrived at Ligera, a small underground venue just outside the outer Milan ring road, we found a band who was playing. They were like “nice try guys, now do something else“. So accordingly to our night city guide the band we were waiting for should have been finnish, not them for sure!
So we patiently waited until the “Cats On Fire” came on the stage.
First thing that you notice are the singer eyes. Mattias Björkas looked straight in front of him for the whole gig, not at anyone else even if people were just there. A magnetic intense blue glance that you can barely stand.
All the band member were young but professional and accurate: the “I” keyboarder Antonia Pehrson, Yrjö Ylijoki, the tallest drummer I’ve ever seen, Ville Hopponen, the guitarist and Kenneth Höglund, the bass player, both of them provided with indie bangs.
Apparently they don’t sound like an emerging young band and lately we discovered they had already released 3 albums and several EP since 2003, elbowing within gothic and death metal bands which characterize the Finnish music scene.
Anyway the set list was very well organized, with lots of catchy songs, like “Higher Grounds“, “Honey Your Baby” and “My sense of Pride“, also covering “Your Woman” by the White Town in an indie mood.
Mattias winked with himself for most of the time, like in front of a mirror. He moved like a sober Ian Curtis, interacting with the audience telling stories about their lives and touring Italy (I think at some point he told something about their equipment stolen in Naples) and he was well supported by the two back vocals, Antonia and Ville.
The show was full of ballads (as the last album All Blackshirts to Me) but never flat or humdrum with also some rock, made glam by the deep and hypnotic voice of the frontman.
I read something about they’re way of copying the Smiths and a strong influence is unquestionable. I think they’ve been very able to mix this influence with the leftovers of the indie pop of the 00s. So they are proving their bona fide right now.
Ladies and gentleman, stop crying your heart out waiting for a Smith reunion. You can easily kill time listening to the Cat’s on Fire and maybe find out that no one is irreplaceable. Not even Morrissey!
Enjoy the Spotify playlist (no clue about the complete setlist): Cat’s on Fire – Milan 7/12/13
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