review : catfish and the bottlemen @ central station
Catfish and the Bottlemen are probably the most hard working band out there today. Hailing from a small, seaside town on the North Wales coast, where the only music you’ll find is that of an ice cream van, it’s incredibly satisfying to see their hard work finally paying off.
I saw them play Central Station around this time last year, after they had just released debut single ‘Homesick‘, and the crowd consisted of 30 people at the very most. But a year on, it’s a totally different story. Being the closest thing to a home show for them, it inevitably sold out.
Idle Frets opened the show with a short but sweet set, that included a cover of Taylor Swift’s 'Love Story', which was an interesting choice but tastefully done. They sound somewhere between The Kooks - or any of those other early 2000s British indie rock bands - and Dog Is Dead, with upbeat, simplistic melodies.
Catfish and the Bottlemen came on promptly at 9pm to a very excitable crowd, and opened with 'Rango'. In fact most of their 40 minute set comprised of singles and b-sides, leaving room for just two new songs and two old songs. This made me wonder whether the album will be all new stuff, or a mixture of new and old like their set. Being due for release in September it’ll be a nice way for them to celebrate the end of festival season, as they are literally playing every UK festival this year.
It was clear just how humbled they are by the recent surge of support, as lead singer Van McCann continually showed his appreciation for every member of the crowd coming out to see them throughout their performance, and they made time to chat to people afterwards. It was a refreshing change from the arrogancy that seems to be the norm these days for frontmen.
Overall their performance was, of course, undeniably faultless. It’s obvious how much they’ve been gigging because it is so much more refined - less rough-around-the-edges - whilst still being adequately energetic and engaging, something some artists seem to lack the nearer they get to ending a tour. If you haven’t seen Catfish and the Bottlemen play live before, then I strongly advise you to do so sooner rather than later. They’re impossible not to like.