Formed not long after the last of the millennium fireworks went off, this big bunch of strays were not permitted into the local pets hotel as their honking V-8 engine was just too much for the bluebird, buzzard and the oriole at all hours of the day, and so commenced their journey spreading the rock-a-beatin’ boogie throughout the land. They found a base at the Ritz Ballroom, Brighouse, stopping off and having fun with the lovely folks at ‘The Swing Cats Ball’ / Stockport, ‘Vegas’ / Edinburgh, Colne Rhythm’n’Blues and Burnley Blues festivals and not to mention of course some marvellous guest houses hosted by the warm and welcoming landlord’s / landlady’s at The Primrose / Leeds, The Wardrobe / Leeds and Batley Variety Club / eh, Batley… A very kind man one day dug these cats ‘n’ kittens so much that he exchanged the saucers of milk for other round shiny things called compact discs and ‘Everybody Wants To Be A Cat’ in 2003 and ‘It Aint What You Do’ in 2005 on Raucous Records managed to get the ‘me-oww’ to other felines in far-flung places like Europe, Scandinavia, Australia and even Japan – places our master, Dick Whittington, never ever mentioned on the map to London so that was a nice surprise. And another very kind group of guys ‘n’ gals gave The Cat Pack an award at the 2002 BBC Big Band competition and that sits very proudly on the really high shelf at our master, Dick Whittington’s first home because any of the lower shelves he knows it’ll get knocked down when we’re jumping around waiting for our tea.
So amongst also sleeping a lot, curling up in a ball, doing that funny hunched-back, side-stepping jumpy thing cats do now and again, The Cat Pack discovered many other cat-lovers who were really nice to us with lots of strokes and tickles under the chin at companies like Pfizer, Sainsburys, The National Railway Museum, The Royal Armouries and Bristol Evening News; weddings, functions and charities at smashing places like Longleat House / Bath, Majestic Hotel / Harrogate, Gateshead Stadium and Aldborough Manor / North Yorkshire; and some really fun journeys at places like where our master, Dick Whittington, works a lot – Blackpool Opera House, Oldham Coliseum, Bristol Colston Hall, Halifax Victoria theatre and Leeds City Varieties – not to mention supporting two of the real original hep-cats, Little Richard and Chuck Berry when they too were wandering around the UK.
And finally, we’re dead lucky to have some of the coolest, caring, cuddly and cute cats in the world amongst the ranks. Saxophonists, Trombonists, Trumpeters, Drums, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Vocalists; loads of very talented performers of the highest professional calibre who have also been on trips with hep-cats ‘n’ kittens like Joe Longthorne, Peter Grant, Georgie Fame, Corrine Bailey Rae, Amy Winehouse, The Drifters, Diane Schure, The Stranglers, Roy Wood, Michael Roach, BBC Big Band, Syd Lawrence Orchestra, Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Squadronaires, NYJO; shows including The Rat Pack live from Las Vegas, Chicago and Legends Reborn; venues most notably at the London Palladium, Royal Albert Hall and many UK Arenas, plus countless TV / Radio sessions, cruise ships, summer seasons and pantomimes (where we obviously met our master, Dick Whittington………)
The journey continues – see you soon you crazy cats…