function band

Hiya! So it’s been quite a while since our last entry for the Cat Diaries hasn’t it? How busy we were!

We started 2018 with our usual stomping gigs at Granvilles and new venue The Filling Factory in Buckshaw Village, Chorley, a quirky and groovy place. We also took the time to rehearse new songs for the set and first dances for weddings which was really fun. We really do work hard at finding the right songs to play and do our own thing to them. Amazing how many songs we’ve gone through and played live. Some stay for a while, go on holiday and return like those wandering cats and just settle back as if they’ve never been away sometimes!

March was extremely busy with Laura’s 40th in the Horwich snow, Granvilles, Jack Rabbit’s in Knutsford and Platform 5 in Cheadle Hulme. It’s not every day you see an old fellah jammin’ on his walking stick next to Ste and Joe but you do in Cheadle Hulme! We also returned to Peover for a wedding and were completely confused thinking we’d played somewhere exactly like The Oak Tree before – we had many moons ago when it was a golf course!

April saw us all over the north west. First was the Adventure Scouts going bonkers yet again for another year in The Lakes – hard to come off stage there as they always want more and sing every song back to us. I managed to play fuel roulette on fumes, sweating to find a garage on the way home. Thank you The Canal Garage on A65!

Parties in Preston and another in a tepee in Appleton which was quite, quite mad. The George & Dragon in Barrowford and Jeremy’s in Brighouse were rockin’ good nights as ever.

By now, the new songs and medleys were well bedded into the set and it’s really good seeing them in the setlist, still trying different lines and parts for giggles. We’ve so many now, every night is different. A run of parties, weddings and charity balls had us sweating all for the good throughout the summer. Emily’s wedding at the Upper House in Barlaston was a corker; Party on the Lake at Pickmere was another outstanding success if we don’t mind saying so and the scorching heat didn’t stop us filling the dance floor at Bowden Rugby Club for St Vincent’s PTA Ball and it wasn’t us tripping the generator!

Emily’s wedding on a scorching evening at the gorgeous Old Grammar School in Middleton saw us pull a few old songs out the bag for her requests which was fun. That started a triple header weekend ending with our annual outing to Cawood Holiday Park (why can’t we ever navigate that roundabout???), with our debut at The Flying Horse Hotel in Rochdale sandwiched between them. The Flying Horse is becoming one of our favourite public gigs the more we’ve played there so keep an eye out for our next appearance there.

The Mercure Georgian House in Blackrod for Paul and Deborah’s wedding was lovely – I hadn’t seen Paul since leaving school and it was an absolute honour and pleasure to play for him. The very talented Kyle Hassall, photographer extraordinaire, joined us the Worsley Marriott Hotel for Clare and Chris’s wedding – you can see the photos here.

Another bouncing wedding up in the Lakes rounded off the summer. We had a little time in September so rehearsed for more new songs, medleys, frivolity and jolly japes.

Marie and Chris’ wedding, where The Acoustic Cats played during the drinks reception (one of our premier packages), at Lancashire CCC was a great night with an impromptu conga! Jack and Anna’s wedding was equally fun and that talented chap Kyle Hassall was in attendance again. Wonder why he’s at our gigs…? 

We visited Buxton, Blackpool, Congleton and the Marriott Renaissance Manchester for the Mancunian Way Ball of which Joe is a trustee. Home town gig for Ste in Westhoughton – he and his brother entertained us as Elvis impersonators for his mum and dad’s Golden Wedding anniversary. Uh huh. All this despite most of us being hit with cat flu but we troopered on through, especially Kirsty when she had ‘razor blades for a throat’!

Our first ever Christmas with The Cats organised by Steve and Anne was an awesome night – it was so good we’re doing it again next year! We also celebrated Christmas with a mammoth game of Pictionary (rock ‘n’ roll) in Liverpool before Sian and Richard’s wedding and wound up the year at the magnificent Peckferton Castle where we’d had our very first promo shots.

It’s been 8 years since we started the madness in a cold rehearsal room banging out tunes for hours on end until they were just right. We have no intention of letting up now. We’re back in rehearsing more new stuff in March – what do you want to hear? Let us know!

Ste’s trousers are holding up well and not split, Joe still plays awesome tunes and hidden gems for our DJ service, Kirsty still sounds phenomenal and kicks our backsides when needed and I still hits things quite a bit. We still mix up our days and nights. We’ve sampled many a buffet, hogroast and 3 course meal so thank you to all who feed us. Even service stations at 3am. Top tip: there’s always some wedding cake at 12.30am. The M6 through Staffordshire is still a pain and I’m sure the Highways Agency check our gig diary to fetch in diversions at 2am.

If you’ve seen us you know we love what we do and we love seeing how much you guys and gals love it too!

Stay furry and purry and see you at the next gig!

Mike Cat