When four songwriters join up and start a super group, and you’ve filmed with three of them before, chances are you’re going to like their group efforts. Well, I don’t like Fantastic Cat. I absolutely love Fantastic Cat. Brian Dunne, Anthony D’Amato, Don Dilego and Mike Montali (Hollis Brown) are all great on their own. And they just work together really nicely as well. After checking sound at Paradiso Amsterdam earlier this year, they jumped off the stage and into their show costumes and recorded their cover of Warren Zevon’s Keep Me In Your Heart and my two favourite songs off their debut album: Fiona and Nobody’s Coming To Get You.
They might not be cats, they are indeed fantastic.
If you haven’t seen any of the sessions I previously filmed with Anthony, Brian or Don, check your schedule for the next hour and clear it. You’re going to want to dive deep. You might as well read the guest essay Anthony wrote on Josh Ritter‘s influence while you’re at it. In that essay, Anthony wrote: ‘The first thing you’ll notice at a Josh Ritter show is his smile. It’s a grin of elation, a grin of communion, a grin of gratitude. It’s the grin of man doing precisely what he was put on this Earth to do, and doing it damn well.’
Well, I’m here to tell you much of this goes for Fantastic Cat as well. They might joke around on stage, and this band might be a fun project that got out of hand, but those four together are doing what they’re meant to do and smiling all the way through. They might not be cats, they are indeed fantastic.
Fantastic Cat are coming to get you.
When Anthony D’Amato and I met up in the spring of 2022, he debuted a then yet unreleased Fantastic Cat song C’mon Armageddon. Every single that followed, peaked my interest even more. New Years Day, Nobody’s Coming To Get You and Fiona are all stellar songs, that showcase just what they’re so good in. Strong melodies, solid harmonies and a perfect blend of four distinctive voices. Which is why it was such a pleasure to have them record these acoustic versions in front of my lens.
More to come.
I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this session as much as I’ve loved recording, mixing and editing it. While I’m looking forward to seeing them live again at TakeRoot in Groningen on November 4th, I’ll let you in on a little secret: three days before then we’re uploading an extra session Brian Dunne recorded this summer! So, stay tuned, subscribe to the newsletter below and tell your friends to follow your lead.
Filmed & edited by Matthijs van der Ven.
Audio recorded & mixed by Matthijs van der Ven.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Thank you for watching and enjoying this session. You’ll probably like some other sessions from The Influences’ archive too, like this earlier one by David Keenan.
David Keenan, the songwriter from Dundalk in Ireland, is one of the most inspired and inspiring songwriters I’ve gotten to know in the past few years. Ever since that acoustic garden show during Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2019, I’ve been keeping a close watch on his work. And he’s been as prolific as he’s been…
In August 2019, I stayed a few days with my friend Davie Lawson and his lovely family in Ireland. Upon arrival, his eldest son called me into his room to play me his favorite song of the moment, singing along to every word. The song? Evidence of Living by David Keenan, from the EP with…