Catfish and the Bottlemen in BirminghamBy Eloise Durham
Van McCann, Johnny Bond, Robert 'Bob' Hall and Benji Blakeway make Catfish and the Bottlemen, the indie rock band formed in Llandudno in 2007. The band remained unsigned until 2013 and released their debut album, The Balcony, in 2014 which reached platinum status two years later. Since then, they've enjoyed success after success including a Brit Award, a UK number one album with The Ride and festival appearances around the world. The Balance is the third album, released in April 2019, and once again employed San Francisco-based, graphic artist, Tim Lahan to produce the album artwork. The demand is high for concerts, in 2018 alone, nearly a quarter of a million people in the UK bought tickets to their shows but the boys are doing a pretty good job of appeasing fans with a packed touring schedule. After a sold-out February UK and Ireland tour, a May UK tour and a summer of festival performances, Catfish and the Bottlemen are back on another arena tour which started at Arena Birmingham on 4 November.
Three days before the concert, Twin Atlantic were announced to be the support for the shows in Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool and Leeds (Dancing On Tables will open in Aberdeen and Glasgow). The audience was treated to a world-exclusive performance of 'Novocaine', the first track to emerge from their 2020 album, Power. Although Twin Atlantic admitted themselves that their rock music was worlds away from Catfish and the Bottlemen's, the crowd embraced them with open arms and bounced along to most songs. A couple of mosh pits even broke out—a decent achievement for a support band!
Catfish and the Bottlemen burst onto the stage in their classic, simple black and white aesthetic. The playful drinking toucan from The Balance album cover lit up either side of the stage. With barely a breath taken between each, Van performed song after song, reaching an impressive 20 in total. The crowd went absolutely wild for almost every song; the energy levels in the arena were high with mosh pits constantly forming.
Despite treating fans to three live debuts from the latest album, many of the songs on the setlist were from the debut record. Still, no sign of 'Tyrants' unfortunately. Catfish and the Bottlemen continue the tour in Newcastle, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Liverpool and Leeds.
9. Encore (live debut)
12. Overlap (live debut)
14. Basically (live debut)