hmv.com reviews... Catfish and the Bottlemen @ Cardiff Castle
The all-conquering indie types hit Cardiff Castle hard over the weekend and we were there to take it all in...
Catfish And The Bottlemen performing a huge homecoming show in their native Wales after performing the festival circuit this summer.
Tonight Catfish they are performing in the grounds of the glorious Cardiff Castle, an honour that only a few have done beforehand. Only a few years ago they were headlining the iconic Clwb Ifor Bach just over the road; now they are playing to a crowd over 50 times the size of that.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The sold-out crowd are riotous from the get-go. Half-filled bottles of far too expensive beer are thrown in every direction and the energy doesn’t let up throughout the entire evening. Every song sees everybody from the front to the back going crazy.
Any good supports?
Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic have had lots of experience playing big gigs, recently headlining 2000 Trees’ final night however it’s unlikely that they’ve ever played in a venue quite like this. Going through material across all three albums, their set zips along with hits such as 'Heart And Soul' and 'No Sleep' going down well with the crowd.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
With only two albums worth of material, is there a fear that a venue as big as this would overwhelm them? Absolutely not. They play through their hour and 40 minute set with a confidence that is shared by those with years more experience.
As far as openings go, firing off with the first two songs off of your debut is a pretty good and it gets everybody in the mood. And they certainly do, from those crushed against the barriers right back to the sound desk and beyond is a sea of people with arms in the air jumping about. Several smoke flares are also let off during 'Homesick', adding to the sea of beer and cider flying about from all sides.
We get a good mix of songs from both their debut and follow up The Ride including 'Soundcheck' very early on and a very loud version of 'Twice' later on in the set. At times it’s almost hard to hear the vocals from the stage due to the sheer volume of everyone around.
Whilst there is no confirmation yet on their upcoming third album, we still get a little taste of what is to come with new song 'Fluctuate'. It follows the regular Catfish formula you can rely on and you can tell that once their fans have heard it even more, that they will be singing along as loud as everything else.
The biggest reaction of the evening definitely comes for 'Cocoon' and prompts everybody to be raised on shoulders from the front to the back. Thankfully the weather holds out right until the end with 'Tyrants' and then the heavens start to open. However, at this point amongst the sweat and beer, it's a welcome shower...
Did they put on much of a show?
As a young band, they easily fill the stage with bucket loads of energy. A huge screen fills the stage, which allows those towards the back of the grounds see how crazy the action is throughout the set.
What was the highlight of the set?
The opening salvo of 'Homesick' and 'Kathleen' takes some topping. The festival-like environment worked perfectly as the sun started setting behind an illuminated Cardiff Castle.
Where can I catch them next?
They've got Boardmasters Festival along with another huge outdoor gig in Glasgow. This is all build up to a huge headline gig at Wembley Arena in November and hopefully by that time, we will have a third album that we can get our teeth into!