Freddy Moore dips his rubbery body into a sea of dancing girls, only to bounce right up again onto the stage with maniacal glee. He's singing "Alleycats may act like thugs but I stay home and spray my rugs," gesturing with a finger from his crotch. Freddy, star of The Kats, is confident that his almost masturbatory antics will go over delightedly with a crowd, convinced that he will uninhibitedly do anything to entertain.
The Kats are a rock band with musical cleverness and humor permeating their every move. Freddy's robust sense of theatrics is complimented by his brother Bobbyzio 's unbridled passion on saxophone; it's as though they perform for each other as they might have when they were kids in their bedroom, egging each other on with energetic abandon.
The sense that one is peering in on intensely private theatre provokes either strong pro or con responses from audiences. One reviewer admitted that he always feels an urge to bash Freddy 's head in.
Moore has a kind of unabashed, burgeoning star quality one either loves or hates. There are those who love them. The Kats' enthusiastic fans match their heroes' frenetic excitement, no matter how many times they've heard the "Kats Theme Song ," meowing right along, some wearing black kitten-ears, letting go with the tune's New Orleans-style jazziness.
The Kids From Skogie
The Kats first came to L.A. three years ago from Minneapolis as a "bread and butter" band called Skogie. (Until recently, they often played here as Skogie at proms and the like to pay bills.) A year ago they formed The Kats and added lead guitarist Pete McRae to the band, debuting at the Troubadour's Hoot Night in late September of 1978 after sweltering through myriad gigs at The Rock Corporation. Opening dates with The Knack followed.
Their music is mostly accessible pop, Lead guitarist McRae, always spiffed out in leopard-print regalia from hatband to guitar strap, Dennis Peterson on bass and Al Galles on drums keep up the daffy pace.
But Freddy is the focal point, pouncing about the stage with feline deftness, vamping atop the amps, cowering from the railing. His voice soars, never wavering. Offstage, his colorful stage persona swiftly changes to bespectacled, shy, gracious. He is a down-to-earth midwesterner, with much of his innocence only glimpsed when he sings "California Here I Come."
See The Kats at the Hollywood Palace this Saturday, second billed on a spectacular show headlined by 20/20, with The Naughty Sweeties, The Zippers and The Rebels. They are some of L.A.'s most exciting new bands, a circle that The Kats have insinuated themselves into with charm and vivacity.