Leah Goodwin

Review: Catfish And The Bottlemen “Now and again a new band comes along that totally blows you away, and Catfish And The Bottlemen are definitely one of those.”

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Catfish And The Bottlemen are the band on everybody’s lips. The story of their rise from playing to a handful of people in a car park, to packing out the Academy last Thursday, is an impressive one, whatever your music taste.

Once the clock struck 7pm Newcastle O2 Academy’s doors opened and over 2,000 people began to flood into the venue. It wasn’t soon after that the lights darkened and excitement washed over the crowd.

Proving that age is no barrier to talent, local ten-year-old mega-fan, Tom Smith, opened the show, impressively, with a cover of the headliner’s single Cocoon. Main support and Washington and Jarrow’s finest, Little Comets, followed on perfectly by building the crowd’s uncontrollable anticipation.

A few minutes later the long-awaited Catfish And The Bottlemen entered the stage opening with crowd favourite Rango. The band’s infectious energy was passed down to the audience, as they couldn’t stop bouncing and a sea of crowd surfers edged nearer to the barriers.

Next on the set list was hit single Pacifier, which again got the lively crowd up and dancing. Sidewinder, Fallout, Business and 26 followed, before their most well-known and, some would say, most loved track, Kathleen, was belted out in true rock ‘n’ roll style.

The gig took a more chilled atmosphere when acoustic song Hourglass was performed; however, it didn’t stop the packed crowd from passionately singing every single word and, at times, drowning out lead singer Van McCann’s vocals.

The short, but faultlessly constructed, 11-song set closed on Tyrants; the final spectacular show of what Catfish And The Bottlemen can really do – write incredible songs.

Giving it everything they had, their thrashing guitars and torrential drums burst through when everyone least expected it, dramatically contrasting with the softer and gentler riff.

The song ended all of a sudden, stopping and cutting out, leaving the excited and yearning crowd wanting more and craving the indie rock that seems these days to be oh so often forgotten about.

Although Catfish And The Bottlemen’s fame is still in it’s early phase, it felt like they had been performing to sold out venues for years. The bands showmanship is truly astonishing. It’s hard to say a bad word about them.

You simply cannot deny that there is going to be big things in the future for the North Wales quartet. The sell out tour definitely shows that they are doing something right. (That is on top of conquering the inaugural BBC music awards and bagging a top ten debut album).

Now and again a new band comes along that totally blow you away, and Catfish And The Bottlemen are definitely one of those.

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