When The Cat's Away Profile

Murray Cammick
7 Jul 2015

The story of When The Cat’s Away is far more do-it-yourself than observers might imagine.

There was no Svengali behind the five young female vocalists deciding to go on stage together. It was their own concept, inspired by a chance meeting at the 1985 NZ Music Awards and in the spirit of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ (1983) it was conceived as a side-project to their burgeoning solo careers.

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When The Cat's Away headlining at the Disturbing The Peace shows at His Majesty's Theatre, Auckland, May 1987
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When The Cat's Away's tour group on the Asian Paradise tour, 2001: George Gorga (front of house sound), Robbie Barclay (production manager), Dave McIvor (crew), Marty Reynolds (lighting), Tony Flett (stage), Paul Lopez (crew), Colin Burrell (monitors), Rick Brown (stage), Ian Magan (promoter) and sprawled across the band, Chris Tate (sound). In front: Sharon O'Neill, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby, Margaret Urlich and Annie Crummer.
Photo credit: Photo by Mark Roach
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A previously unseen, pre-When The Cat's Away shot taken for a NZ Listener story in 1985 on the presenters and contenders for the New Zealand Music Awards: Debbie Harwood, Annie Crummer, Margaret Urlich and Dianne Swann
Photo credit: Photo by John Reynolds
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When The Cat's Away, before the 1989/90 Free Ride tour, all "pregnant" with Debbie Harwood - who actually was.
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Debbie Harwood photographed for the Live in Paradise tour, 2001
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony O'Dwyer
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When The Cat's Away 1988 live shows, with Rikki Morris
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Margaret Urlich with When The Cat's Away, late 1980s
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When The Cat's Away - TVNZ documentary part two (1987)
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Debbie Harwood, Kim Willougby and Annie Crummer performing Dragon's April Sun in Cuba, at the APRA Silver Scrolls, 2001
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When The Cat's Away in New Plymouth, 1988: Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby, Dianne Swann and Margaret Urlich
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Annie Crummer photographed for the Live in Paradise tour, 2001
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony O'Dwyer
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Soundmen extraordinaire Chris Tate and Rikki Morris (who also supported When The Cat's Away on the earlier Melting Pot tour) on the 2001 tour
Photo credit: Photo by Mark Roach
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Kim Willoughby photographed for the Live in Paradise tour, 2001
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony O'Dwyer
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Dianne Swann with When The Cat's Away in the late 1980s
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Margaret Urlich photographed for the When The Cat's Away Live in Paradise tour, 2001
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony O'Dwyer
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A previously unseen, pre-When The Cat's Away photo taken for a NZ Listener story in 1985 on the presenters of the New Zealand Music Awards: Debbie Harwood, Annie Crummer, Margaret Urlich and Dianne Swann
Photo credit: Photo by John Reynolds
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The poster for the 2001 Paradise Tour
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When The Cat's Away - Melting Pot (1988)
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When The Cat's Away - TVNZ documentary part one (1987)
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When The Cat's Away, 2001: Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby, Annie Crummer and Margaret Urlich
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony O'Dwyer
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Debbie Harwood and Dianne Swann in Masterton
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Annie Crummer with When The Cat's Away, late 1980s
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A poster for the Melting Pot single: Debbie Harwood, Dianne Swann, Annie Crummer, Margaret Urlich and Kim Willoughby
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Ian Morris and Sharon O'Neill backstage at a When The Cat's Away gig on Waiheke in summer 2001/2002, with Ian and Kim Willoughby's kids
Photo credit: Photo by Mark Roach
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An early When The Cat's Away publicity shot: Dianne Swann, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby (front), Margaret Urlich and Annie Crummer
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Debbie Harwood live in the late 1980s
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When The Cat's Away's live album, 1987
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When The Cat's Away - Asian Paradise (2001)
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The 2001 Live In Paradise album
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Proof shots for a pre-When The Cat's Away photo shoot taken for a NZ Listener story in 1985 on the presenters and contenders for the New Zealand Music Awards. The photo shoot provided a catalyst for the formation of When The Cat's Away.
Photo credit: Photos by John Reynolds
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Labels:

CBS


Peach


Epic


EMI

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Members:

Debbie Harwood - vocals

Annie Crummer - vocals

Margaret Urlich - vocals

Dianne Swann - vocals

Kim Willoughby - vocals

Sharon O'Neill - vocals