Concert Review: Catfish And The Bottlemen @ Clwb Ifor Bach

Catfish and the Bottlemen
It was one South Wales finest days this year, a day full of sun boiled down into an evening full of excitement, fun and Cardiff was buzzing for one of the UK’s most exciting emerging bands. Whilst 8,000 fans packed the Motorpoint for Nine Inch Nails, 200 were overflowing in Clwb Ifor Bach for Catfish and the Bottlemen, with people being turned away. It was simply the hottest ticket in town, courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood SWN.

Opening the show was Pontypridd favourites Peasant’s King and for a band dubbed as local support, these boys were playing to a completely new crowd, as they gauged the audience with a show of hands. The boys were tight and brought their A Game; the trademark hooks, unseen levels of energy and intensity gripped the room by it’s throat and they didn’t let go. As they triumphantly played singles such as the upbeat and extremely catchy Antidotes with those riffs that just make you smile and the awesome cemetery with Dan’s haunting voice and the contrasting guitars that puts it in ‘deserves to be played to 100,000 people on a summers day’ category of song. It was to this song that the Peasant’s King conga was delivered to the room, backing it’s credentials as an anthem. It would have been easy to have finish on a single, but Peasant’s King gambled hard and opted for Sedative of the Four Walls EP and my word, it paid off. The hairs on your neck stood up, as the band provided their set highlight last and as the last note was played the audience was stunned and excited at seeing no doubt another hot prospect!

Llandudno 4 piece Catfish and the Bottlemen are everything you want from an Indie Rock band. Growling guitar driven, no frills, louder than a frat-party and just a sack full of quality tunes that make you want to move. A bands walk on song is usually forgettable, something that the band love and makes the audience think why did you bother choosing this? However Catfish entering with OutKast’s Roses was a perfect choice, it geared the audience into party mode and was extension of their set, fun and exciting. Indie-Rock anthems such as Kathleen made the floor nearly cave in as the band looked effortless in pulling off such an emotionally raw, energetic, yet polished to enjoy for daytime radio audience. Pacifier and Fallout, showcase Van’s voice that growls through the fiery burst of guitars, a sturdy pulse from the percussion, smooth as silk harmonies to create a sound so rich and exciting. Worried this sounds like a band that the larger lads will undoubtedly ruin for you live, by being so pretentious and self-centred at a gig, when they play larger venues? Fear not, the boys aren’t boastful or ostentatious as personalities; in fact the legendary Steve Lamacq, who was in attendance, accused them of being too nice after saying Thank You after every moment. Not that it’s a bad trait to have, but they do rival Paul McCartney for the nicest guy around. Catfish and the Bottlemen are one of 2014’s hottest prospects: catch them live, listen to them and make them your own before they become huge.

For an interview with Catfish and the Bottlemen, click here.

Review by Richard Samuel | @rich_dbno

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