Fun times ahead for The Cat Empire at SummerSalt, Hotel Rottnest


The Cat Empire.
The Cat Empire.

IF playing in The Cat Empire looks like the most fun job in Australian music, that’s because it is.

It seems incredible, but the funk/ska/jazz messengers have been at it since 1999.

Jamshid Khadiwala, AKA DJ Jumps, has been there for almost all of it, joining the group in 2001.

And The Cat Empire, which will visit WA with Xavier Rudd for the SummerSalt festival in early December, plan on getting the country’s booty shaking for a good while yet.

“There’s no reason for us to stop playing music together,” Jamshid said.

“All the signs say keep going.”

Jamshid, a DJ and scratch artist, described his role in the band as “manipulating different sounds on a record, playing certain patterns and licks like a percussionist would”.

He said the improvisatory element of the band’s music helped keep the gigs fresh and exciting.

“What we’ve become good at the last few years is having dynamics among some of our improvised sections – they don’t always have to be frantic,” he said.

“But in those moments when they do happen it’s great – there’s a lot of energy among the eight of us on stage.”

He keeps a rigorous record-shopping regime when on tour.

“I usually take about 10 records out with me but I’ll tell you, I come back with about 100,” he said.

The Cat Empire play Margaret River on December 2, before heading over to Rottnest for what will be the band’s first gig on the island.

“I do remember years ago we had some time off and a few of us just went there (Rottnest) for four days on a little holiday,” Jamshid said.

“It’s such a beautiful part of Australia.”THE ESSENTIALS

What: SummerSalt, with The Cat Empire and Xavier Rudd

Where: Hotel Rottnest

When: Sunday, December 3

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au