The Catfish and the Bottlemen lads must be sick of service station food by now, having spent the best part of 18 months on the road the Ginsters and Lucozade must be losing their appeal by now, but that’s not stopped them embarking on another tour this autumn which will see them play 26 gigs before the end of October!
All this time on the road has paid off though, catching the ears of Zane Lowe and John Kennedy amongst others, resulting in regular plays on Radio 1 and XFM for Homesick and current single Rango alongside slots for BBC Introducing at Reading and Leeds festivals over the summer. The sold out signs are going up on the latest series of gigs and the Night and Day in Manchester is no different with the few remaining tickets on the door snapped up, good going for a Wednesday night.
Against a back drop of expectation and excitement the Bottlemen took to the stage and opened with a nicely extended intro version of Rango, which got its official release earlier in the week, full of energy with a pounding beat, guitars cranked up and catchy vocals, setting the scene for the rest of the set. Singer and guitarist Van McCann is engaging and entertaining as a frontman, quick to get the crowd involved with a chat about jobs in the front row and letting people know that although they may live in Wales (Llandudno, in fact) they are not the Manic Street Preachers.
What Twitter Said: “Great set from @TheBottlemen last night! Had a nice chat with Van’s mum too…that’s one proud lady! And so she should be! Cheers again lads” Night and Day Cafe @nightanddaycafe
The ability to create a pop melody whilst retaining an edgy sound is a rare ability that is evident throughout the set, in particular A.S.A and Pacifier and especially new track Heartbreak which has a great drop into bass and drum before the trademark Bottlemen sound slams back in, one to look out for. Homesick is the most recognisable song to date and had the crowd singing along to the opening lines, a special mention here for drummer Bob Hall who’s playing was spot on all night but really stood out on this track with a crisp, hard-hitting sound that powers the whole thing on.
Highlight of the night for me was Sidewinder which has an 80’s big sounding rock feel to it, generated by a killer guitar riff and driving rhythm with drops in all the right places and great vocal harmonies. Final song of the night was Tyrants a now traditional set closer and is another big sounding affair with a punky bass line and pounding drums that lays down the groove for the stadium rock guitars that lift the track into Kings of Leon terrority, the false end into a jam out adds to the europria of the close which left Van’s guitar hanging aloft from the rigging, feedback blaring, as the band left the stage a rousing reception.
What Twitter Said: “Tonight was so amazing again catfish and the bottlemen were just wow” Candice Flatley @fluff_noodles
Catfish and the Bottlemen certainly lived up to their billing as ‘next big thing’ with a performance of raw energy and excitement that comes with a young band on the up. Whilst not yet the finished article they ceratinly have all the qualities required, not least a real hunger and determination to succeed backed up by some great tunes.