A night full of swing vibes and rocking beats. That is what the Greek band Cats and the Canary promise in their first full performance on Sunday 26 August at Open Studio.
The six-piece group consists of mostly newly-arrived immigrants that joined forces more than two years ago, making their debut at the 2018 Lonsdale Street Greek Festival.
They have since been playing around Melbourne, presenting their signature swing and rock’n’roll take on Greek songs – be it classics by legends like Manolis Hiotis and Toni Maroudas, or modern ones by the likes of Leonidas Balafas and Mirela Pahou.
“You can use the term Greek swing/rock if you want a label for our music, but I think we have our own sound, the Cats and the Canary sound,” bassist Odysseas Kripotos told Neos Kosmos.
“We took time to further explore our sound, putting more rock and entexno elements to the mix, but we also explored different eras of Greek music.”
Unlike your typical Greek bands in Melbourne, Cats and the Canary have no bouzouki or lyra. Instead they base their sound on drums, electric guitar and saxophone.
“In Greece there are bands like Maraveyas Illegal, Gadg Dillo and dozens more that engage with a more contemporary sound of Greek music. In Australia this sound is not so well-known.
We wanted to bring it here, because we believe there is a gap, especially for all those that arrived the last few years from Greece”.
Their sound has attracted the attention of many local and Greek artists as well.
“We were pleased when Mirella Pahou sent us a message on Facebook telling us that she really liked our version of her song Mi Re La. Also, one friend of us showed Vasilis Papakonstantinou a video of us. Then Papakonstantinou sent us sheet music of a couple of his tracks, requesting to perform them. All of these are just honours, we wear them as badges.”
Speaking about their upcoming show, Odysseas says that it will be a special one.
“Open Studio is a small venue and can really help us interact with the audience, feel connected with them and enjoy music. Sing about love, happiness, separation immigration and, most importantly, dance altogether.”
Catch Cats and the Canary at Open Studio (204 High St, Northcote, VIC). Doors open at 7.30 pm, entry $10.00. For more, visit @catsandthecanaryaus on Facebook.