“Two Shoes”- The Cat Empire
The Cat Empire is an Australian ska and jazz band formed in 1999. Core members are Harry James Angus (trumpet and vocals), Will Hull-Brown (drums), Jamshid “Jumps” Khadiwhala (decks, percussion), Ollie McGill (keyboard and backing vocals), Ryan Monro (bass and backing vocals) and Felix Riebl (percussion and vocals). They are often supplemented by The Empire Horns, a brass duo composed of Ross Irwin (trumpet) and Kieran Conrau (trombone), and have recurring guest musicians. Their sound is a fusion of jazz, ska, funk and rock with heavy Latin influences.
The Cat Empire’s origins are traced back to Jazz Cat, a Melbourne-based band, led by Steve Sedergreen in 1999. After playing Melbourne’s lively Jazz club scene for a time, The Cat Empire (composed of McGill, Riebl, and Monro) split away from the group and began their own performances. In July 2001 Angus and Hull-Brown, and Khadiwhalla joined the band, and The Cat Empire was born.
The Cat Empire has since released 5 albums, and has played on the same stage as KISS and at the Australian Open. Very few bands have combined so many varying sounds with such seamless quality, and The Cat Empire manages to touch more genres per song than most bands do in a lifetime. They have released songs that could be lullabies and others that you might find on a Brazilian dance floor.
“Two Shoes,” is a narrative of a man describing his own appearance, and as he passes over himself he describes the reasons for each feature. For example, he describes his eyes as such:
And my eyes they’ve got some vision
that can see through many lies
ah my eyes they look for better things
the better things to see in life
If you have a moment look over the lyrics of the song, they made me smile wide. When listening to “Two Shoes,” try to pick out the different influences in each portion of the song, you might be surprised at what you find.