My first Lounge Kittens gig, and also, my last. Timing has never been my strong point.
I first discovered the Lounge Kittens in August last year, when a picture of the trio popped up on my Twitter feed. I found myself thinking, these three look very cool, wonder what their music is like? And so it turned out that I got no work done at all that day as I flipped from video to video on YouTube, discovering the Kittens’ glorious back catalogue of witty and irreverent covers of rock and rap songs.
And so, with the spectacular sense of timing that only I am capable of, I became a Lounge Kittens fan a month before they announced they were disbanding, largely as a result of a huge loss of earning following the Pledgemusic debacle. So I had to take my one and only opportunity to see them live, and therefore despite having been plagued with IBS pains all day, I trekked it up to North London to see the sparkly three last Friday night.
The Lounge Kittens are clearly experts at providing an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness and goodwill. I felt this even as I was waiting for the band to come on stage, when I tweeted about how I’d made it out to the gig despite having felt ill all day. Immediately, a well-wishing reply came from the Kittens themselves. I’d been lucky enough to discover one empty spot at the front row of the balcony from which to view the excited throng prepare for the evening of fun ahead, and there was a sense of it being a big family gathering, with crowd members waving at friends across the church as everyone found a seat
The Kittens appeared on stage at 8pm in fabulous leopard print attire for the first of their two sets, where the vibrant three sang with only the spirited keyboard playing of the red kitten Jenny for accompaniment. This set was my favourite of the night, as it let their incredible vocal power shine through. The impeccable way their three voices melt together is like nothing I’ve ever heard before, bringing intense power to the more emotional songs like the Darkness’s “Love is Only A Feeling” or Thunder’s “Love Walked In”. But equally, the humourous potential of the back catalogues of the likes of Rammstein or various emo metal bands is amplified by their vocal prowess, most particularly with blue-haired kitten Timia’s inimitable ability to vocalise guitar solos.
The second set, for which they were joined by their house band, brought the party atmosphere to the fore, but I did miss the hearing crystal clarity of the harmonies a little bit. The downstairs crew were up and dancing as soon as Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” started up, and though I was feeling a bit too creaky and ill to get up and boogie myself, I was definitely dancing inwardly, particularly during the frenetic Prodigy medley (I will never be able to listen to “Smack My Bitch Up” again without hollering an enthusiastic “miaow!” along to the screechy sample.)
The gig came to a rousing close with a Bangers medley, full of all of rock’s most powerful choruses – Queen, Heart, and even John Farnham were paid due tribute. The warmth and love between the crowd and the band were palpable, and I am only sad that I discovered this glorious trio at such a late stage that I only got to experience seeing them live this one time. But I will follow the ensuing careers of each individual Kitten with great interest, and hope that one day they will be able to reconvene in better circumstances. And if they do ever gig again, I’ll definitely be there, in my best leopard print, and singing and dancing my heart out.