Live Review: Catfish and The Bottlemen // Victoria Theatre, Halifax – 05.04.16


It’s been four and a half months since Catfish and The Bottlemen last hit a stage, as Van McCann told their sell-out crowd on Tuesday night in Halifax – it’s been time well spent though, if these new songs are anything to go by.

Making their way onto the stage with their trade-mark white strobe lights dazzling their audience, the band crashes straight into Homesick, although McCann barely has a chance to sing at all as the security battle to get a frivolous sea of fans, screaming the lyrics, under some form of orderly control.

Continuing through their hit-packed set, the band play Kathleen, which of course gets a raucous response from the crowd- with bellows of ‘I gotta give it to you, you give me problems’ most probably heard outside of the glitzy setting that is Halifax’s Victoria Theatre. Next though, comes the recently released track, Soundcheck, which has been emblazoned upon practically almost all major radio stations for the last few weeks – something that is no mean feat. The whirling guitars fit in seamlessly with their old tracks, and it’s clearly already become a fan favourite.

Next up are two older anthemic songs: Pacifier and Sidewinder. Both tracks resonate around the theatre demonstrating their grandeur in such a live setting – these particular numbers relish large audiences and were made for inciting chaos. The band then go on to unveil another new single, Anything, which, once again, fits perfectly when sandwiched between tracks from their 2014 debut, The Balcony and truly orchestrates their unadulterated teenage angst.

With the band’s electrifying set failing to relent, the delirium conveyed by the crowd is truly felt – across all three levels of the venue. Tracks such as 26, Business and yet another unreleased track, Red, make way for a magical solo acoustic moment for McCann, as he plays Hourglass to the adoring faithful, who truly appreciate the intimacy of the moment.

After performing the peachy Cocoon, it comes to the inevitable set closer, which as always, is Tyrants. McCann and his bandmates truly let rip and expose their inner rawness, which becomes apparent as they seem to reach a poignant moment as they delve into a song, which clearly strikes an emotional chord amongst themselves. Van stumbles around on stage, struggling to carry himself while managing to play guitar from behind his back and even upside down at some points – a sign of his devotion to the band’s music.

Catfish and The Bottlemen are at the top of their game right now and are undoubtedly set to ascertain their status as a viable headlining option, given their musical prowess and the adoration that they receive. With a new album, The Ride, announced for release on the 27th May, keep your eyes peeled for more tour dates and further critical acclaim for a band that have already accomplished so much at such a tender stage in their career.



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