As the clock strikes 9pm, the crowd grow with increasing eagerness as the next band on the bill of the well-received, newly established Liverpudlian one day festival approach their slot. Catfish And The Bottlemen are due on stage in just under ten minutes, and it’s more than clear that it’s going to be special, even before their performance begins.
Although an interview wasn’t scheduled, I was lucky enough to bump into Van backstage whilst prepping himself for another astounding performance. He is gleaming, clearly as eager as the growing crowds waiting in the midst, full of happiness and energy to match that. Before walking into position next to the stage, Van even had the time to have a picture with a friend who is a big fan of the band, which was brilliant to see, it seems nowadays bands are focusing too much towards the future and their ‘superstardom’ and a sense of arrogance is almost sometimes inevitable in this industry, but Catfish and The Bottlemen are genuine let me assure you, and they are more than happy to produce time for any of their fans (which could be seen as Van entered the crowds after the band finished their slot to interact with many more fans for a good half an hour), undoubtedly a treasure in today’s world of music.
Its 9:10 pm and the lights go dim, followed by an eruption of noise coming from the crowd. The lads walk on stage to even louder volume and once they begin playing, albeit a long day, the crowd find an astonishing surplus of energy from deep within and the atmosphere is remarkable, easily the best of the day.
It would seem Catfish and The Bottlemen represent the best part of a party, the bit smack-bang in the middle where everything’s in full flow and a good time is inevitable.
As this mirage of good feeling continues, it is clear Van and the boys are greatly appreciative of the crowd’s reception and efforts, with sincere thanks and gratitude being vocalised from Van on numerous occasions. It must be said, though, it isn’t anything less than deserved, Catfish and The Bottlemen are putting on some performance, and it is clear for all to see.
As time passes and songs such as ‘Kathleen’ and ‘Fallout’ bellow out, keeping the atmosphere from dying, although it shows no signs of doing so, it’s time for the boys to leave to stage, and do so to an almighty applause from the crowd, it’s over in a flash. Catfish followers are immensely satisfied and first time listeners are impressed, and rightly so.
As the lights die for the final time, I head back stage and once again get the privilege of bumping into the lads, and they are buzzing, perhaps even more so than before, which originally seemed impossible. All in all a great performance, and one that will be undoubtedly followed by many more.
Catfish’s arsenal continues to expand on September 15th with the release of debut album ‘The Balcony’.
You can pre-order your copy here
You can also catch the boys throughout the summer on numerous occasions including many festival appearances, including the likes of Strawberry Fields, Bestival and R+L, before their headline show in London on November 7th.
Sophie Jones who was also there had this to say….
After hearing a lot of mixed reviews about the upcoming band Catfish and the Bottlemen I was more than intrigued to see the Wales 4 piece play for myself. Stage 1 at X & Y fest had a very enthusiastic crowd patiently waiting for Catfish and the Bottlemen and it seemed as though they were the band everyone was talking about. Once they started playing, their stage presence was impeccable and they couldn’t thank the audience enough for coming to watch them.
Overall the set was a certainly a crowd pleaser and I’m unable to fault it as it was loud, fun and there was a generally a more exciting atmosphere than you get with your other typical indie bands. But what shocked me was that this band has been given a bad reputation in a way and I don’t see how that was ever possible, after to talking to lead singer Van McCan myself I began to realize that Catfish and the Bottlemen are one of the most down to earth bands you’ll find in the industry today and they’ve got an extremely bright future ahead of them