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Somerset Sounds - Artists
Monfi Cats are from Yeovil
Monfi Cats are an eclectic band from Yeovil. Find out more about them here.
Who are Monfi Cats?
John Archer (percussion, harp); Lee Goodall (saxophone, flute); Pete Maxfield (double bass); Dave Balaam (keyboards); Simon Swarbrick (violin, strings); Dave Wallace (drums); Tom Toomey (guitars and vocals)
Where in Somerset are you from?
When did you form?
How did you get together?
We knew each other through playing in various other musical incarnations over the years
How would you describe your music?
Inspirational fusion music drawing on a fluid combination of genres... world, blues, jazz, rock, roots, folk, coloured by Spanish, African, Latin, Eastern and Celtic influences
How did the band gets its name?
A pet cat that Tom had when he lived in Spain
The band formed in 2006
Who are your musical influences?
John McLoughlin, Frank Zappa, Peter Green, Bert Jansch, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tommy Emmanuel, Roy Harper, Paul Kossoff, Neil Young, Santana, Rush, Steely Dan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eagles, Eric Clapton, J J Cale, The Doors, Steppenwolf
What is your most memorable gig so far?
An outdoor gig at Perranzabuloe in Cornwall. Simon was playing his lead piece on his violin during one of the songs.. he had his eyes closed, transported to that etheric level where only musicians can go....and a pigeon landed on his head.
The amazing thing was that he didn't seem to notice and carried on playing. The pigeon likewise seemed quite happy to stay and enjoy the music.
When his bit had finished and the electric guitar kicked back in, that seemed to jolt them both back into reality.
At the end we agreed it had added a whole new dimension and depth of emotion to his performance, and the audience were thrilled as it was so well timed that they assumed it was all part of the show.
Where would you most like to play?
Glastonbury Festival, Wembley, Albert Hall, all the world's festivals
Finally, tell us some interesting facts about yourself
Tom Toomey runs a charity which teaches guitar to African children and pays for the recruitment, training and wages of music teachers there.
Lee Goodall played with Van Morrison for two years; Dave Wallace is also David Essex's drummer; Simon Swarbrick is folk legend Dave Swarbrick's nephew and was taught to play the violin by him; Tom has toured with Slade and Boney M and has played guitar for Sir Cliff, Jon Anderson, Leo Sayer, Colin Blunstone, Paul Young, Donovan, Don McLean and Gene Pitney and was in a punk band called Invisible Sex, who used to wear neoprene boiler suits and gas masks.
last updated: 27/09/07