They’re a band from Wales who also state they’re not from Wales and have an unnatural disdain for The Strypes. It’s fair to say that Catfish and the Bottlemen are starting to make a name for themselves whether it’s through their controversial comments or their high tempo rock songs and the lucky people in the Bodega got to witness this first hand on the 27th October 2013.
The band wasted no time getting into their hits for the fairly small but noisy crowd that built throughout the gig. First song was Rango off their 2013 EP, titled the same, which was arguably one of the best known songs the whole night. This was followed up by Asa which is likely to become one of their biggest hits despite the lack of airtime down to the success of some of their other, more well-known songs. The first few songs in their set were so loud that the people of Wales, or wherever they say they’re from, could hear the vocals of Van McCann as the set got underway.
As the night progressed, the band started to interact with the crowd more until they eventually reached a stage where they were on first name basis with some of the audience. This added an extra element to the gig and night as a whole as members of the crowd asked questions like “do you have any bad songs?” before the band replied with “yeah, this next one is awful”. Needless to say that the song which followed, like the rest of the songs during the set, didn’t fail to meet the high standards their songs are starting to set.
McCann, in particular, has a great stage presence and there is no doubting the confidence he possesses. There was a brief interval in the night as he started chatting up one of the barmaids at the venue and this was a theme of the evening as no girl was safe from his vantage point on the stage. This may create a Marmite effect, with members of the audience either loving it or hating it, but it certainly didn’t take anything away from the gig as a whole.
The final two songs were Pacifier, their latest hit which has just started to take off before ending with Homesick which most of the crowd once again knew. These two songs were a great way to end the night before the crowd was asked if anyone wanted to stay and have a beer.
They seem to be gaining quite a following, with the likes of Zane Lowe supporting them. It’s no surprise to see why with sets like this one. They may not have the catchiest of names but I’m sure Catfish and the Bottlemen will be a name you won’t be able to forget soon enough. And don’t worry, turns out you can like The Strypes and still appreciate what this band has to offer.
By Aaron Brudney