reviews... - April 7, 2015 reviews... Catfish and the Bottlemen @ O2 Academy Bristol
by Dan
by Dan hmv Cardiff, Bio TBC reviews... Catfish and the Bottlemen @ O2 Academy Bristol

Catfish and the Bottlemen continued their stellar year at Bristol's O2 Academy last week and we were there to review things...



North Wales indie rockers Catfish & The Bottlemen celebrating their debut album The Balcony just turning Gold.


At Bristol's foremost venue the O2 Academy.

Any good supports?

Opening act Little Comets did well to enthuse the early crowd with their charming indie sound. It's clear that there are fans already there and particularly with tunes such as the lively 'Dancing Song', they have gained a lot more from tonight.

Was it full? And how were the crowd?

The atmosphere was completely euphoric with a real festival-like energy which encompassed the whole room. There wasn't a single song that didn't have the sold out crowd singing with their arms in the air.

So what was the set like? What did they play?

Before they even begin, the young crowd are already energetic and itching to get in the mix of everything. When the band do kick in, opening with a heavy version of track 'Rango'; it sets the place alight immediately inciting those in the middle to get upon shoulders and waving t-shirts in the air, making us feel like we're in the middle of a packed festival field.  

'Pacifier' follows and takes it up another notch prompting mass jumping all across the floor. All of the songs played tonight are lapped up by a crowd who seem to have lived with and embraced their album for years. Even album tracks like '26' and 'Business' are greeted with the reception that most bands would get for their biggest hit single. At one point a smoke bomb is even let off into the crowd such is the chaos that occurring.

It's a credit to the band that whilst playing through the entire album, they manage to engage with everybody acknowledging and thanking them all for being there. An acoustic version of 'Hourglass' with the lights shining only on frontman Van McCann causes the lighters to be raised and a sing a long that echoes throughout the room.

It's all closed off with a rousing one-two of crowd favourites 'Cocoon' and 'Tyrants' giving them their last chance to dance. Some feared that with only the one album that it might not be enough to fill an entire set, however every second of the experience is jam packed with so much energy that nobody is left disappointed.

Any good between song banter?

Throughout the show they are constantly thanking the appreciative audience for being there and you can see that it is really genuine. It's quite refreshing especially for such a young band to be so welcoming for their audience; picking individuals out in crowded room and applauding them for embracing the atmosphere.

Did they put on much of a show?

Set against a simple backdrop of their album cover it's fairly simplistic yet some impressive lights and a heck of a lot of vigour on stage make it totally worthwhile.

What was the highlight of the set?

'Cocoon' has everybody simultaneously jumping and singing along. There wasn't a single unhappy face in the room with everybody on the floors and the balconies moving about. It's surely set to be a song that will be heard a lot more during the summer period.

Where can I catch them next?

The rest of the tour which heads to Sheffield, Liverpool and Belfast is unfortunately sold as are a pair of shows at the Brixton Academy this November. However expect to see them a lot at festivals this summer with Latitude, Reading and Leeds already confirmed and many more due to come. This band is going to be at the top of a lot of people's lists to see.


The Balcony
The Balcony Catfish and the Bottlemen

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