The Cat Empire Announces Major Line-up Change & Farewell Tour Dates

16 September 2021 | 2:39 pm | Staff Writer

"The spirit of the band will flow through to the next chapter..."

(The Cat Empire at Enmore Theatre in 2018. Pic by Simone Fisher.)

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The Cat Empire have announced major changes to their line-up today with news that four original band members will be departing. 

It's been shared today that band members Harry James Angus, Will Hull-Brown, and Jamshid 'DJ Jumps' Khadiwhala are leaving the group, in addition to bass player Ryan Monro who exited in March 2021. 

Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill will remain for the "next iteration of the band". 

The group have announced that they will kick off a farewell tour later this year with shows in Queensland, Western Australia and Melbourne. 

"After 20 incredible years of touring and making music together, we have made the decision to disband, and to make way for a new incarnation of The Cat Empire to come to life fronted by Felix and Ollie," said the group in a statement today. 

"Will (Drums), Ryan (Bass-departed the band March 2021), Harry (Vox/Trumpet), Jamshid DJ Jumps (Decks/Percussion), and our Manager Correne will all be celebrating final moments with The Cat Empire in December 2021. At this juncture, Felix (Front-man/Percussion) and Ollie (Keys) will take the band forward into its next global chapter as a re-imagined, vibrant, cross-cultural, and joyful collective of musicians and artists.

"The Cat Empire began as a musical jazz project in Melbourne, Australia in 2001, and took on a life of its own, so much bigger than any of us could have even dreamed or imagined. As we look back on the past two decades, we are so proud of what we achieved; from the (almost 1500) live shows and festivals we have played around the world, to the seven studio albums which resulted in global chart success, as well as our cherished independence, and more importantly the interpersonal experiences we amassed and grew from. We directed our own musical adventure and created our own opportunities along the way.

"We’ve played Letterman and Leno, Bonnaroo and SummerStage NYC, opened the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, performed at Bluesfest 15 times, Falls Festival 11, Woodford Folk 10, Winnipeg Folk Festival 8 times, and Blues Balls (Switzerland) and Adelaide Fringe seven times each. More than half of our live audience lives in Europe. We hold the record for the most shows played in a row at Edinburgh Festival (16), and in 2019 we played Glastonbury twice!

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"We cherish our global audience who took us into their hearts, homes, venues and festivals, returning over and over to sing and dance with us.  As we toured the world, our fanbase grew and so did we. The enthusiasm of our audience has sustained us through tough times and has kept us making and delivering music for all these years. 

"We've met babies named after us, heard heart-warming and heart-wrenching stories about what our music has meant to people, and we've seen hundreds of tattoos of our logo on various body parts! We are forever indebted to every one of the lovely faces in the crowd at each of our shows, for the joy you showered back at us over two decades...

"We have so much to celebrate. We leave each other with full hearts, healthy relationships, and a deep respect for each other and the musical journey we have shared together, and with the world.  We firmly believe The Cat Empire has an enduring mission to continue to bring great music, exemplary musicianship, and joyful moments to the world.  

"The spirit of the band will flow through to the next chapter as Felix and Ollie and many guest musicians grow The Cat Empire into a global collective with new and exciting music set for release in 2022."

Tickets for The Cat Empire's original line-up farewell shows will go on sale on Tuesday 21 September at 10.00am local time. Head to theGuide for all the info.