Local cat cafe to hold regular concerts for Singapore musicians
SINGAPORE — If what German philosopher and musician Albert Schweitzer once said is true — that “there are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: Music and cats” — then it would follow that we can get a misery-free evening on July 29, when The Company Of Cats, the cat cafe in Chinatown, hosts Singapore singer-songwriter Jaime Wong for a concert. With the cafe done up like a living room, this could well be the most comfortable of settings for a music gig.
“We have organised other events before like quiz nights and poetry readings, just not music performances,” said The Company Of Cats’ Tricia Lee, who said that the idea to hold concerts at the cafe was a natural progression.
“The cafe is like a place for us to do what we like — cats, music, books — what more can you ask for? We’re all very big on music and I’ve also been very big on supporting local artistes, and my business partner too ... we’re very interested in supporting the local scene. So we thought, why not provide a platform for these musicians to have an acoustic gig?”
Lee also said that they would like to host more shows in the future. “We’re planning to make it a regular thing for the cafe,” Lee said, although she added that she and her partners hadn’t decided on the frequency of these concerts. “We haven’t really scheduled (the shows), because the musicians are also pretty busy with their other gigs. We’re trying to fit into each other’s schedules. At the moment, we’re trying to see if we can do one concert every two or three weeks, or maybe once a month.”
And yes, Lee said, the musicians would get paid. “We’re also letting them sell their records at the shop and help them promote — it’s going to be mutually beneficial.”
Lee said they were focusing on acoustic shows right now. “Aggressive music might freak the cats out,” she said, laughing. “But the cats are quite used to local music. We make playlists and we have this local musicians’ playlist, so they’re indoctrinated to local music! So when they hear Jaime, they’ll go, ‘oh, we know her!’”
The musicians – or “mewsicians” – are being selected based on their music, said Lee. “(Music) that is more stripped down and can accommodate a more intimate setting,” she elaborated.
Lee added that the musicians must perform their own original tracks, although they would not restrict them from playing covers during the set. “We personally head to a lot of gigs and music events, plus do our music research on a personal basis. For example, for Jaime Wong, we went to the launch of her EP back in May, liked her sound, bought her EP and then decided to invite her down.”
That Lee and her partners are offering The Company Of Cats as a music performance platform can only be good news for the music scene. “Local musicians have always had to struggle to get their music out, but now, there have been a lot of more of them and people are starting to realise that we have a lot of talented musicians,” said Lee. “I think the fact that radio stations such as Lush 99.5FM are doing shows devoted to local music is really good. But there’s always a need for additional performance platforms. So why not? They get to share their music, we get to entertain our customers and keep things interesting at the cafe. As I said: It’s mutually beneficial.”
Jaime Wong performs on July 24, 8pm, at The Company Of Cats, 6B Mosque Street. Tickets at S$16 (includes two hours admission to the cat room) from