Mr Cat & the Jackal
Mr Cat & The Jackal is a unique five piece multi-instrumental group often described as experimental acoustic folk whilst exploring blues, tango, pirate, Balkan and Irish themes. With a circus of sounds created by foreign and handmade instruments – their live performance calls for a complete theatrical experience.
The band formed in 2006, originally devoted to writing musical scores for theatre productions. They received a KANNA nomination for their work in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ (Die Storm, KKNK), and a ‘Fiesta’ award nomination at Aardklop in 2010 for the soundtrack of ‘Die Kortsondige Raklewe van Anasasia W’ composed with Braam du Toit – to mention only a few of the projects MCATJ also compose for.
Their debut album, Themes and Variations, was released in November 2007. Since then the band has been touring Southern Africa repeatedly and kept on refining their craft through commandeering festivals and entertaining audiences at every venue available. In March 2011, MCATJ released their much anticipated second studio album, Sins & Siren Songs, to raving reviews and critical acclaim.
The group spends its time in their studio writing, inventing and building instruments and song structures. Gertjie, Jacques, Pierre, JC and Johan all come from diverse musical backgrounds and aim to one day spread their Galilean gospel like galigaskan wearing fools on a galiot with a game plan.
Sins & Siren Songs
In March 2011, MCATJ launched Sins & Siren Songs in Cape Town. The album was recorded at the Fresh Meat Studio in Durbanville, produced by MCATJ and Abrie du Plessis and mixed and mastered by Darryl Torr. The first single from the album, namely ‘The devil always wants to dance’, was play listed on radio stations nationwide and the video for the single, directed by Thomas Fereira from 187, reached nr. 6 on the MK Top 10 Music Video chart. The song was also chosen as one of Music Reviews’ Top Ten Hot Local Tracks.
Sins & Siren Songs Reviews
“‘Sins and Siren Songs’ has music that hovers between madcappery and whimsy, and between menace and delight. Unashamedly acoustic and theatrical, Mr Cat and The Jackal exhibit that rarest of qualities in the current South African mix – a sense of humour. Get it now and immerse yourself in the carnival hurly-burly of their burlesque vision.” – Evan Milton, The Weekend Argus
“Picture a smoke-filled pub on the edge of a muddy marsh in Louisiana’s Deep South. Add Mr. Cat & The Jackal to the stage and what flows back at you is sublime retro-fuelled, multi-instrumental originality, reminiscent of Tom Waits and Nick Cave’s finer body of work.” – Jason Curtis, Cape Times
“The 16 tracks are a mix of sultry dark blues and plucky foot-stomping folk tunes that take you back to a time of swashbuckling pirates upon the high seas, lonesome travelers with murder on their minds, evil women with fire in their eyes and dusty taverns filled with sultry wenches and strong liquor – stirring stuff.” – Ruth Cooper, BizLounge
“A classic modified and spruced up. With levers, switches, swathes of chrome and touches here and there. They’ve been working on this one in a garage in Durbanville for some time. You can hear it rumbling the bones of old ghosts disturbed from the grave. An odd ball affair; a little bit country, a little bit blues and somewhere in between the sheets: Rock and Roll.” – Johann Smith, Muse Magazine
“The band’s mixture of percussion and string instruments places the listener somewhere in between a circus and a late 1900s’ vaudeville show, where girls are dancing in bustle skirts and flirtatious bust lines and the bearded lady gestures behind the curtain for the delightfully sinful show that is Mr Cat & The Jackal.” – Anna Helland, The Big Issue