Live: Catfish and the Bottlemen, Bonus Arena – Hull
Far Out went down to the sold-out Bonus Arena in Hull to see Catfish and The Bottlemen as they gear up to release their new record The Balance as they proved why they have garnered such a reputation first and foremost as a live act.
It wasn’t a show full of surprises or rarities and disappointingly the set only including one unheard track from their imminent third record however; the Llandudno based four-piece proved exactly why they are topping bills at the likes of TRNSMT and Citadel this summer as they brought an electric, raucous indie disco atmosphere to Hull in the middle of February.
As the band arrived on-stage to the sound of ‘Helter Skelter’, they then burst straight into new single ‘Longshot’ which went down a treat with 3,500 strong crowd who sang their hearts out to the track despite it being relatively new to the audiences’ ears, who maintained this energy throughout the hour and a half long set.
Singer Van McCann looks like he is enjoying every moment of
the set just as much as the crowd, especially on the stripped-back ‘Hourglass’
which provides a special moment and shows that the band can do more than make arena-sized
As Zane Lowe recently put it on his Beats1 show when he premiered
new track ‘Fluctuate’, that their lyrics tow the line between ‘the universal
and the personal’ which is exactly why so many people are emotionally invested
in them because they can relate to the words they are singing along to and the
people they are singing them back to which makes the crowd just as vital to their
show as the band.
Expectedly, it’s still songs their first record The Balcony which gets the best reaction from the lively Yorkshire crowd such as ‘Cocoon’, ‘Kathleen’ and the massive ‘Tyrants’ which closes the album as well as the set.
Catfish have received a lot of heavy criticism over the years for not having the most complex sound in the world and perhaps not mixing things up enough, which is agreeable to an extent because when they do on ‘Postpone’ from The Ride it pays off, especially live. But, don’t expect a concept album from them anytime soon because that’s just who they are. They know full well that they make straightforward, relatable songs which connect with their audience and from the airings so far it seems The Balance will see the four-piece remain carry on with the formula that has seen them gone from playing pubs and clubs to seasoned festival headliners in just a short few years, why fix something that isn’t broke?
The Balance is available from Island Records on April 26th and you can check out their UK/European tour dates below:
APR 28 GALWAY LEISURELAND GALWAY, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
APR 30 THE OLYMPIA THEATRE DUBLIN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND