Following the release of their debut album The Balcony in September, Welsh rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen kicked off their UK tour with a sold out show in Cardiff. After a lengthy wait, the band finally made an appearance on stage, to the delight of the eager fans that seemed to be fed up with the long interlude after the support band. However, the wait was well worth it. The band put on a spectacular set that was flawless in virtually every element.
Commonly, bands of a similar genre are capable of doing two things live: they either put the crowd to sleep with their lack of enthusiasm and energy, playing a dreary set, or they are the opposite and are even better than they sound recorded. Fortunately, Catfish and the Bottlemen are the latter. They effortlessly radiate energy that is felt throughout the entire venue, lifting the spirits of every member of the crowd. With only one album out, the band played virtually every song you could name off the album, but no one was complaining. The audience loved every minute of the set.
Some indie bands seem to take more time to build this energy and enthusiasm up amongst the crowd, but surprisingly only being two songs into the set with their performance of ‘Pacifier’, the crowd was in frenzy. Their performance of ‘Fallout’ managed to get members of the crowd climbing onto their friend’s shoulders to get a better view and sway along to the song. It is no doubt that the crowd’s resounding favorite performance was of their track ‘Kathleen’, during which everyone shouted along – probably the loudest I have ever experienced a crowd sing along at a non-stadium show.
The band most certainly do not lack in stage presence with frontman, Ryan Van McCann having absolutely zero problem interacting with the crowd. Van McCann even spent a considerable amount of time in between songs reminiscing about their previous show in Cardiff. The show ended on a high note with the performance of their track ‘Tyrants’, a proclamation of an excellent start to their tour and Van McCann requesting a member of the crowd that was previously at their show to once again shower himself with a pint of beer.
In sum, Catfish and the Bottlemen seem to be heading for greater things. With only a single album out, the band have already secured a strong fan base across all age groups, and are definitely a band that has shown how versatile they are when it comes to live performance.