Cat’s Eyes @ Howard Assembly Room, 02/11/16

Alternative rock duo Cat’s Eyes performed at the Howard Assembly Room on Wednesday as part of the Beacons Metro Festival. I say alternative rock, but that doesn’t really grant Faris Badwan and Rachel Zeffira the justice of being able to effortlessly glide from grunge to a delicate operatic sound. But I suppose that’s what you can expect when you combine the frontman of the Horrors with an Italian-Canadian soprano.

The effortlessly cool pair came on stage to the ethereal sound of the Twin Peaks soundtrack, amplified by the acoustics of the venue. Cat’s Eyes premiered songs such as ‘Drag’ from their acclaimed second album Treasure House, an album that The Guardian coined “celestial delicacy and gruesome horror”. It was therefore unsurprising when Faris announced to the crowd that the band had performed at the Vatican. This was all part of the onstage banter, which included Faris playfully insulting Rachel whilst she had her earphones in.

What really made this gig unique was just how incredible Rachel Zeffira’s voice is. There is an added quality to witnessing a performance like that, something   possibly overlooked when listening to an album. This is not to take away the talent of Badwan and the onstage ensemble; an entire band and choir were meticulously placed onstage, even to the point of people coming onstage to chime the beginnings of the Beatles’ ‘Because’.

The band ended the set with an unexpected yet well received rendition of the classic, ‘Girl’s Just Want to Have Fun’. This was the concluding moment to an ever so sophisticated and cultured evening, not something you would expect at first glance of this exceedingly unique and talented band.

Phoebe Berman

(Image: Cat’s Eyes TV)

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