Catfish and The Bottlemen, the indie-rock foursome from Llandudno headed by Van McCann have found their feet since XFM played Kathleen on March 17th.
The Ritz on Witworth Street West just opposite Oxford Road train station has a capacity of 1,500 and Catfish managed to sell it out with their debut album The Balcony. The Balcony charted at number 10 in the UK charts the week ending the 27th September.
From an epic set at various festivals around the UK last summer, including Leeds festival where they had the tent bouncing despite the usual northern rain outside, to a North American tour this winter to being awarded the Introducing award at the inaugural BBC Music Awards as well as ‘Best Live Act of the Year’ at AIF. It’s safe to say this gig was set to be a memorable one!
The setlist was identical for the whole UK tour and looked like this:
The anthemic tunes kept coming all night from the Welsh quad. The floor was bouncing as the band tore up their instruments and Van belted out some remarkable vocals.
Unlike some bands, Catfish kept the talking to a minimum, once commenting on how his Nan was watching the performance that night.
Due to the amazing lyricism and emotion embedded within them, I can’t even begin to imagine how Van McCann felt when he had the entirety of The Ritz singing back to him lyrics which refer to his personal life:
“I was a test tube baby that’s why nobody gets me”.
For me the song of the night was Hourglass. It truly is a beautiful modern day love song. From “I’m craving you calls like a soldiers wife” to “I wanna carry all of your children and I wanna call them stupid shit”, it is a perfect example of what a love song in 2015 should be.
Adorable acoustic guitar vibes combined with melodic piano intervals and a beautiful chorus demonstrates just how an indie band can do the occasional love song alongside songs with lyrics which give an emotional insight to their lives varying from getting drunk to wanting to bed older women.
10/10, Catfish and The Bottlemen were breathtaking and I’m already eagerly looking forward to seeing them in both the Leeds and Manchester academies in the spring.