Despite being almost 300 miles from Catfish and the Bottlemen’s hometown of Llandudno, the Welsh indie band’s gig in Glasgow last Sunday (13th of November) was their “biggest ever headline show”, as proclaimed lead singer Van McCann towards the end of the lengthy set.
The band had asked for everyone to show ID on the door which had to match the ticket in order to discourage resale of tickets. This was a good premise, but the venue were underprepared which resulted in fans queuing for hours to get into the hall.
The band seemed in no rush to be on stage, working the crowd into a frenzy. The lights went down one final time and the artists appeared – McCann flashed a twisted smile and took a second to enjoy the applause before blasting off with Homesick, the first track off their debut album The Balcony.
It was the big tunes from the first album such as the opener, Kathleen, Cocoon and Pacifier that really carried across the best. A few of the new songs showed off a more thoughtfully musical side of the band, however they didn’t receive the same reaction from the crowd. McCann is definitely the main visual attraction in this band, leaving no space of the stage unused, but it’s the ever solid bass and drums of Benji Blakeway and Bob Hall which really drive this band whilst McCann directs and entertains.
There was a stunning moment nine songs into the set when the rest of the band left the stage leaving McCann alone. He paused for a minute before playing the intro to the solo song Glasgow live for the very first time. A ghostly hush fell over the crowd and everybody in the room sang along before erupting into a huge cheer after the words “Sauchiehall Street”. It felt like a special moment in the middle of a gig which so far included moderately fast anthems. The band bashed through eighteen well delivered songs, including acoustic number Hourglass, before leaving the stage and then reappearing to close the night with their go-to finishing song, Tyrants.
Filling a venue of that size is no mean feat, especially by a band who a few years ago were next to unknown and it’s obvious Catfish and The Bottlemen have a bright future ahead of them and they cannot wait to get even bigger.