20 May 2014 (gig)
22 May 2014
The audience at the intimate venue of Dingwalls in Camden weren’t disappointed by Catfish and the Bottlemen’s performance on Tuesday night. From the exuberant group crowd surfing at the front to those more content to hang back by the bar, everyone seemed to be having a great time.
Having played over 100 gigs in the past 18 months ‘Catfish’ are clearly used to putting on a good show and this was evident during Tuesday’s gig. Vocalist and guitarist Van McCann commands the stage; putting on an energetic performance that fuels the crowd, confidently chatting and joking throughout. Their performance was strong, only let down occasionally by Dingwall’s sound system and the misguided decision to turn on the house lights whenever McCann addressed the crowd, which was distracting.
McCann is definitely the star of the show and steals the limelight, however the rest of the band, Billy Bibby (lead guitar), Benji Blakeway (bass) and drummer Bob Hall are clearly very talented too, although I’m not sure if Hall can be described as the ‘best drummer in the world’ just yet, despite McCann’s enthusiastic assertion half way through the set!
Their sound isn’t original or fresh, don’t expect to be surprised by what they have to offer, its traditional Indie Rock, however this doesn’t detract from their talent or make their songs any less enjoyable. Their songs are powerful, catchy and got the whole crowd singing along, in particular to ‘Kathleen’ and ‘Rango’. Even the songs that aren’t as well known and haven’t received airtime had a familiar feel to them and I have high hopes for their album.
This summer’s festival season will see Catfish and the Bottlemen grow an even bigger fan base, they’re already down to play The Great Escape, Dot to Dot and Tramlines which will propel them into the public eye and I for one would look forward to seeing them play at a bigger venue.