Live Review: Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Borderline, 24/02/14


When you go to a lot of gigs you know when it’s going to be good pretty much as soon as you walk in the room. For me, London is the home of all the best venues for live music – especially if you’re seeing small bands – and Catfish and the Bottlemen’s gig at The Borderline was no different.
As soon as I walked into the basement venue I could sense the eagerness of the crowd to rock out to what was probably the last chance to see this band in a small venue! The mix of people in the room just represented how this band has really had an effect on the musical lives of gig-goers. It was the first time seeing this band for me and, honestly, it was seriously a game changer! You could feel the passion of the band throughout the set in the vocals and in the guitar riffs and I don’t think I’ve been as blown away with a band before as I was with these lads.

Following a not-very-good support act (who I honestly can’t remember the name of), Catfish and the Bottlemen’s performance was well needed. It’s so easy to become absorbed in the passion of this band as frontman Van McCann joked down the microphone and gave exceptional vocals on well-known tracks such as ‘Pacifier’ and ‘Tyrants’, whilst also nailing new tracks such as ‘Kathleen’. And the guitar riffs? Don’t even get me started on how fab they were.
Having a hilarious frontman is just guaranteed to make this band even more huge in the coming months, and with the attention of radio 1, it’s simply inevitable. I’m so happy because they really deserve it! Upon a request for an older song, McCann shouted ‘you liked us when we were s***, top lad!’ down the microphone – I reckon he’s a bit of a top lad himself to be honest.
I’ve also never ever met a band so appreciative of my support for their music which just goes to show that hard work and perseverance can do wonders for a band. (I also quite enjoyed the hug, it was super cute!).

~Ceri-Ann Hughes

Listen to Catfish and the Bottlemen’s latest single “Kathleen” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrrcVxnjJO8

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