Monday evenings aren’t typically the best night for a gig, but Catfish and the Bottlemen the other night (11th April) absolutely killed it at their sold out London gig at Camden’s O2 Forum. Everything about the gig was absolutely mental; the setlist and overall performance was incredible, alongside a crazy rowdy crowd and fantastic support. The gig sold out in minutes, so getting a ticket was a huge shock, and the four piece certainly didn’t disappoint. Their heavy indie-rock edge and bite filled the venue with energy and adrenaline, and their intense stage presence was incredibly captivating.
Doors opened at 7pm and by half seven or so the venue was packed out with hundreds of fans all buzzing for the gig. They had The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ playing on repeat, with tracks like ‘Good Day Sunshine,’ ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ and ‘Taxman’ filling the 2,300 strong venue. Support is always important at gigs, and the support act were Black Honey, a messy indie-grunge band from Brighton. Fronted by killer bad ass vocalist Izzy Baxter, the band have a really exciting, vividly fresh undertone. Their performance was raw and messy, and they have a really interesting fun stage presence. The four piece are a proper indie band, similar to acts like Wolf Alice and Sundara Karma in terms of their on-stage aura and intensity. They’re a stylish band too, with a really artistic fashionable bite to their whole look, from Izzy’s messy pale blonde hair style to the pink flamingo on stage with them. Their lyrics are dark and kinda brooding too, especially the introduction to their killer track ‘Corrine’ with the line ‘Corrine, come back to me cause it’s six in the morning and we’re only playing make believe’, and the track ‘Madonna’ with the line ‘tell me how you sleep, I drag you back from every dream.’ Their intriguing and exciting set definitely sets them as a brilliant, much needed new rock band.
After their set, the buzzing atmosphere inside the venue was mad, with a widespread sense of exhilaration and intensity. The band had also picked a fantastic playlist, comprising of tracks like The Rolling Stones’ ‘Miss You’ and ‘Make it Wit Chu’ by Queens of The Stone Age. And then at 9pm, all the lights went down (cueing thousands of screams and beer chucking) and Paul’s stripped back vocals from the heavy cutting edge Beatles track ‘Helter Skelter’ playing, with the lights flashing in sync with his raw rough vocals. And then on came Catfish and the Bottlemen. The crowd was honestly one of the best I’ve ever been in; they were rowdy and amped up, with moshing and messy circle pits throughout the entire gig. Their set opened with ‘Homesick,’ and they went on to play all their tracks from their debut album ‘The Balcony’ alongside new tracks ‘Soundcheck,’ ‘7’ and ‘Red’ which will feature on their upcoming album ‘The Ride.’ For me, the best tracks were either ‘26’ or ‘Tyrants,’ which they finished with; ‘Tyrants’ actually saw a huge circle pit form filling most of the standing area, and at the drop all the fans rushed into it. The crowd was sweaty and chaotic and everyone was jumping and screaming and moshing, which just added to the vibrancy and crazy nature of the gig. Another incredible track was Van’s acoustic performance of ‘Hourglass,’ where the entire crowd sang back every single line; the entire show was mesmerising and overwhelming, and the band performed exceptionally. Van’s vocals were fantastic, as was the heavy guitar and intricate riffs from Benji and Bondy alongside Bob’s brilliantly skilled drumming. Overall the gig was absolutely incredible from start to finish, with the band playing for well over an hour. This set of UK dates is just the start of what is set to be an incredible year of gigs and festivals for the band, and given the incredible performance the band put on the other night, they deserve as much success as they can get.
Their new album, The Ride, comes out May 27th available for pre-order here