This is Cat and The Queen.
A theatrical force to be reckoned with and true renaissance artist, Cat Montgomery, her Nord keyboard (aka ‘The Queen’) and her backing band, the New Royals (Amanda Barbosa on Bass and Graham MacKey on drums), bring an effervescence and visceral experience to each album and every show they play live. Self described as “Tori Amos meets Jefferson Airplane meets B-52s meets early Bette Midler meets Kate Bush”, Cat and The Queen have their own fresh take on the Cabaret Rock / ‘Caba-Rock’ genre.
Cat grew up in Barrie, playing piano privately and eventually pursued theatre at the Etobicoke School of the Arts for high school (grades 9, 10 and OAC), with a brief interlude in Spain. After high school, she went to a small theatre conservancy, studio 58, in Vancouver and then came back to Toronto for her Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in theatre and teaching voice at York University.
In 2012, after dealing with some personal issues, Cat retreated. Her Mom, in a way to reach out and help her through it, sent her their childhood piano, from BArrie to Toronto. Cat rekindled her relationship with it. What she lacks in technical capability on the piano, she more than makes up for it with her personal connection to it. Eventually, she went to an open mic at a Keele & Annette pool hall and down the musical rabbit hole she went.
A couple of years later, Cat started working with a drummer and then another drummer and then a bassist, and then, of course, dancers. She started standing up at the piano to have a more ‘punk’ aesthetic and to dial up the energy of the performance. She quit smoking, took some singing lessons, and moved from more ‘speaky’ cynical songs to finding her singing voice.
In August 2018, she put out her first album, Loba Loca and followed it up with an immersive theatre rock show, called LOVE IN SPACE! Performed at The Assembly, an underground theatre in Parkdale.
In 2019, CATQ released their second album, Heart For A Ride – an experiment in mixing a solo electro pop sound with a raw ‘live off the floor’ sensibility. Cat also had another theatre rock show that year at the Toronto Fringe Festival called “PUMP” at the Theatre Passe Muraille.
As Cat rolled into 2020, she had sublet her house and had planned to go to Halifax for 4 months of performing and exploring the scene there. The pandemic had other plans and Cat ended up staying at her mother’s cottage in the Algonquin Highlands/Dorset area by herself for 2 months. What was supposed to be a summer of performing turned into introspection and reflection and ultimately, her 3rd album, released in 2021, the super lo-fi “I Caught a Fish”.
The first single, “Bear Boy”, is a haunting portrait of longing and lost love. Her theatrical presence comes alive with her video for the single Cabin Fever. And her video for Haunted World is the perfect time capsule to capture the public rage of the anti-police protests in 2020.
Recently, on October 30th, CATQ brought her new album and live show to one of her favourite venues in the city, the Horseshoe Tavern. In addition to being the headliner, Cat also used social media to construct a true Cabaret for the evening, which included comedian Hoodoo Hersi, musician Ariel Sim and ThunderClaw Robinsong.
In addition to performing, Cat is working on a new kids show with her partner, called the Cat in Space Show, in which they are a rock band, called Bondar, traveling through space and exploring new planets – think a musical Peewee’s playhouse supported with emotionally intelligent content. The show is currently in post-production and they are getting ready to pitch it.
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