Artist: Cats In Space
Venue: Frome, Cheese and Grain
Date: 23 September 2023
"The crowd had been ecstatic throughout both sets and there was lots of clapping and calls to get CIS back for the encore."
The Cheese and Grain is situated in Frome, Somerset. It is now celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary of being open. It holds around 835 people standing or 500 people seated. Over the years it has been host to many famous bands, including Robert Plant and more recently The Foo Fighters and Paul McCartney who both did surprise warm up gigs there prior to their appearances at Glastonbury. Unfortunately today, there is chaos around Frome town centre, which is where the C&G is located, as it is the annual Frome carnival, so all roads around the centre are all closed off from 18.00. Also there is a fun fair taking up most of the space in the main car park next to the C&G as well. I therefore got a lift into the outskirts of Frome and walked in and arrived at 19.00, with the gig publicised to start around 20.00. It was noticeable standing in the foyer with the main hall doors closed that CIS were having issues with the sound. This sound check carried on until around 19.45, when it started to sound a lot better.
The doors opened at just past 20.00, and although there were plenty of people around, then it was only about a third full. At 20.20 the opening sequence to ‘Kickstart The Sun’ was played, swiftly followed by the band taking to the stage and launching into ‘King Of Stars’. The stage had a screen in the shape of the CIS logo displaying videos, a CIS logoed shaped mirror ball type object and another screen adjacent to the other one, but set lower down on the stage. This however was mainly hidden by other things on the stage so could not be seen that clearly. I was to discover later on that it was the best that could have been done in the circumstances due to the size of the stage. The band sounded excellent. Whatever the sound problems had been earlier had now all been sorted out. CIS were on fire, and the vocals from Damian Edwards and the guitar work from Greg Hart and Dean Howard were excellent. They carried on playing the whole of the ‘Kickstart The Sun’ album before leaving the stage for the end of part one. What a perfect way to start a concert!
After a twenty-minute or so break the band returned. They had all changed clothes from wearing sparkly attire into clothes that were less flashy. The band opened this second half with ‘Too Many Gods’. Again the sound was faultless and each of the band members playing and singing was exemplary. There followed tunes from a best of the CIS catalogue covering at least one track from every album. The final song was ‘Greatest Story Never Told’, before the band left the stage. The crowd had been ecstatic throughout both sets and there was lots of clapping and calls to get CIS back for the encore. They did two songs ‘Hologram Man’ and ‘I Fell Out Of Love With Rock and Roll’ which had the crowd singing and jumping around.
A truly excellent evening of entertainment from CIS who performed supremely. I talked to them after the show and they all said how happy they were with their performance and thought it was the best one of the tour so far.
Go see them live when you can!
Review Paul Gregory