Monday night in Los Angeles offered the usual array of hipster shows at indie-rock clubs like the Satellite and Bardot, but THE place for all cool cats to be seen--literally--was Cinefamily, where the Rock-Cats, the world's only all-cat rock ensemble, let the fur fly live onstage.
Yes, you read that right. Move over, Keyboard Cat, Piano Cat, DJ Kitty, and "Portlandia's" Catnap: The Rock-Cats are the real claw-outs queen kitties of rock 'n' roll. Swinging through Los Angeles on their current "up-close and purrsonal tour" of the U.S., the Rock-Cats kicked out the jams Monday at the site of Hollywood's historic Silent Movie Theater, playing as the warm-up act before a rare screening of the 1965 kitty classic That Darn Cat, for an audience that was so completely sold-out, the concert was streamed on Cinefamily's website by popular demand.
To be fair, the Rock-Cats are no longer really an ALL-cat band. The newly expanded, now-electric kitty quintet--which started out as an acoustic trio--now includes Pinky on guitar (who strums using her dewclaw!), Fiji on drums, Tuna on cowbell, Nue on keys...and the true star of the show, a talented CHICKEN named Hendiana Jones, on percussion. And really, Hendiana was the glue of the band during Monday's gig. Sure, Fiji bashed out a few Animal-style drum solos, but Hendiana was the only band member who seemed to possess any natural rhythm, or seemed to have musical influences outside of what I will nicely describe as extremely experimental jazz.
Hendiana also seemed to be the peacekeeper of the group, when Fiji and Pinky got into a brief onstage catfight between songs that threatened to break up the band. But eventually the cats settled their differences and kept on rockin'. If only human bands like Oasis and Guns N' Roses could learn from the Rock-Cats' shining example.
After the show there was a "meet-and-greet," during which fans (some wearing furry cat-ear headbands or "More Cowbell!" Rock-Cats T-shirts, both for sale in the lobby) lined up/stampeded like eager groupies at a circa-1986 Poison concert. Nue was the sluttiest with these groupies (he seemed to really relish some heavy petting), but all five band members, including Hendiana, enjoyed a fawning welcome befitting any A-list rock act.
Okay, so the Rock-Cats aren't going to win any Grammys any time soon--not even in the Experimental Jazz category. But what they lacked in technical skill, they certainly made up for in rock 'n' roll catitude this past Monday night.