It’s extremely rare that i receive any type of assistance with my gig reviews. I’m very much of a loner as i sit hunched over my crumb infested keyboard, drinking strong coffee and shouting at the kids as they try to break into cars opposite the office. However, i must give credit to an audience member for his input on this occasion. When asked by Catfish and the Bottlemen lead singer Van McCann how the gig was going the belting response from Ralph (audience member) was “Fucking Amazing”. I could not have agreed more.

Lets consider this. Catfish and the Bottlemen have really only released a couple of singles, there is no album and the band clearly see no point in hiring an on-tour barber. However, already they appear to be radio playlist darlings and have the swagger of proper “RocknRolla’s”. Their stage presence and their ability to write a good tune is simply jaw dropping and the fact they interact with the audience, as if they were all close friends, should be applauded … “we’re just going to have a quick wipe down and then we’ll come out and say hello to you”. Last night these guys not only delivered an accomplished set at the Borderline, they absolutely nailed it.

The band obviously had no extensive back catalogue to revisit. Instead we were treated to tracks that may, or may not, feature on their forthcoming album. It was certainly a surreal experience as we were asked if a tune was good, or not so good. In their defence everything they played had “hit record” written all over it. We were obviously treated to previous releases ‘Homesick’ and the quite brilliantly delivered ‘Pacifier’ but it was the currently unreleased tracks ‘Cocoon’ and ‘Sidewinder’ that stole the show. I have no doubt whatsoever that ‘Cocoon’ will change the lives of this 4-piece from Llandudno forever, it has stadium filling qualities to it that were obvious even when performed in a venue as small as this. ‘Sidewinder’, with its James Bond intro, was also received extremely positively and was further proof (if it was required) that we were seeing a band who are destined for NME covers and Festival headline slots.

Go and see this band while they are still playing small venues because i have absolutely no doubt that will be changing very, very soon.

Catfish and the Bottlemen are Van McCann, Billy Bibby, Benji Blakeway, and ‘Dr. Bob’ Hall

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